Kansas City councilman says airport research conducted with ‘fine tooth comb’

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City city councilman Jermaine Reed called for a 'unity vote' to show that the council is united on the future vision for the airport.

"What we want to do is make sure that the citizens of Kansas City are getting the best deal. We're going to work our butts off to make sure that that happens," Reed answered after FOX 4's Mark Alford questioned him about the ballot language. (Watch the conversation in the video player above.)

"The reality of it is, we want to select the right proposal for Kansas City. We have four proposals that have submitted through this process and we have really been going through with a fine toothed comb ever since August 14th, where we've been really researching, we've interviewed and we've talked and met with a lot of our financial advisers. We also met with our lawyers and a number of other experts from our airport partners, our airline partners as well to talk through this process, and we want to make the right  decision," he said.

Reed said next week, on Thursday, Sept. 7th, the committee will choose one of the four proposals to present to the citizens.

"No taxpayer dollars at all will be used," Reed reiterated.

Meanwhile, the ethics complaint against a Kansas City councilwoman over alleged conflict of interest as she serves on the airport selection committee, was dismissed.

Councilwoman Jolie Justus appeared before the city's ethics commission Wednesday, to respond to a complaint that she has a conflict of interest in the selection of a contractor to build a new terminal at KCI Airport.

The 4th district councilwoman is chair of the KCI selection committee. She also is a lawyer with Shook, Hardy and Bacon, a firm that represented one of the airport bidders in a lawsuit last year.

A city contract to build a new airport terminal is expected to be valued at about $1-billion. And competition to get that lucrative deal has become fierce.

Burns and McDonnell, one of the teams bidding on the project, did hire Justus' law firm in 2016, but is not currently doing any work with Shook, Hardy and Bacon.

The engineering company has hired a different law firm for the airport bid process.

Justus claims an opinion from the city's legal department says she does not stand to gain a personal or financial benefit from her employer's work with Burns and McDonnell. Justus also says she does not share in her law firm's profits.


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