??? WHO’S ON FIRST ???

Open Letter to Fairhope Airport Authority

Attention Josh Myrick, Attorney

Joe McEnerney, Chairman

Jack Burrell, City Council

Dear Sirs;

Thank you for providing the Ripp Report with the information we requested. The summary outlined in this letter contains information from your documents: A. Request for Advisory Opinion from the Alabama Ethics Commission, Dennis R. Bailey. B. Notice of Request for Bids for Airport Ground Lease. C.Ground Lease and Operating Agreement, Dec 17th 2015. D. Ground Lease and Operating Agreement, Dec. 21, 2015. E. Memorandum of Lease Dec. 17th 2015. F. Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No. 2016-04.

These documents raise a myriad of questions and are not consistent with your public statements. For simplicity sake I am only addressing the issue at hand, the ground lease. Let me stress that the other questions, not addressed, in this correspondence will remain part of the complaint. This is a rebuttal to the time line the authority produced and the Lagniappe articles, https://lagniappemobile.com/bond-bid-blogger-fuss-fairhope/ and http://lagniappemobile.com/authority-explains-board-member-won-hangar-lease-bid/.

The Ripp Report encourages you to print your response to this letter in Lagniappe since readers are anxiously awaiting your response.

Please be advised we are sending a copy of this correspondence to all authorities that we have previously contacted.



On Dec. 16th 2015, attorney Dennis Bailey, representing Mr. Ray Hix, requested an Advisory Opinion from the Alabama Ethics Commission. Page 3, paragraph 5 reads:

“The lease document has been approved by counsel for the Authority and is ready to be signed. A copy of the agreement is attached hereto as EXHIBIT C dated Dec.21/15?”

How is this possible? The request predates EXHIBIT C.

“However, the Authority and Mr. Hix have agreed that the execution of the lease is contingent upon a favorable Advisory Opinion from the Commission.”

The lease was executed Dec. 17th 2015 the Advisory Opinion was March 3 2016 after the fact.

On page 2 paragraph 5, the authority issued a sample lease available for inspection, a requirement of the FAA.

“A copy of the sample lease prepared by legal counsel for the Authority is attached as EXHIBIT B.”

This lease is different than the recorded Dec. 17 Lease and the Exhibit C Lease Dec. 21. EXHIBIT B resembles a lease executed March 2015 to Cedar Creek Leasing LLC, Article VI titled Rents and Fees match, and are different than the Dec. 17th Lease and the Exhibit C Lease.

The same letter, page 5 under questions, three questions are asked of the Ethics Commission— all three reference EXHIBIT C as being the lease in question “THAT IS SEEKING APPROVAL.”

The Authority entered into on Dec. 17th 2015, a Ground Lease and Operating Agreement. This Agreement is not the same as EXHIBIT C that was contained within the Request For Advisory Opinion. There are many inconsistencies in the EXHIBIT C Lease— starting with the date of the document, Dec. 21st 2015. The Authority entered into and executed a Lease and Memorandum of Lease on Dec. 17 2015. The Memorandum was recorded with the Baldwin County Judge of Probate on Dec. 28, 2015, which is contrary to the information contained in the Request for the Advisory Opinion and the Advisory Opinion given.

Another of several, differences in the leases is Article XLVII,[47]. The Agreement dated Dec. 17th, Article XLVII title is Limited Personal Guaranty, where as the Dec. 21st copy, sent to Ethics Commission, Article XLVII reads Personal Guaranty.

The Advisory Opinion dated Feb.3rd 2016 says in part:

“A lease document has been drafted and approved: however, it has not been signed contingent upon the Commission rendering this Advisory Opinion.”

The last paragraph reads:

“A copy of any contract/lease agreement entered into between the Board and the Airport Authority must be filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission within ten days of its having been entered into.”

Per this statement, the executed Lease of Dec. 17, 2015 should have been submitted to the Commission no later than Dec. 27, 2015. It was presented March 8 2016 AFTER the Advisory Opinion March 3 2016 and over 60 days late.

Mr. Evans, General Counsel for the Ethics Commission; “In February of this year,” Feb. 3 2016,

“we rendered an Advisory Opinion regarding this issue to Dennis Bailey, the attorney, for Ray Hix, jr. We approved the scenario that was set out in that request for an opinion, and on Feb, 8th 2016 Mr. Bailey provided us with an executed copy of that lease,”

dated Dec.17 2015— this IS NOT EXHIBIT C.

The question would be, if the lease had already been executed on Dec 17 2015, and was different than the submitted unsigned EXHIBIT C, Dec 21st, then how could EXHIBIT C, provided by Mr. Bailey be executed?

It is different than the lease, Dec. 17 2015, that has already been executed and recorded as a Memorandum? The purpose of providing an unsigned lease to the Ethics Commission was to have an approval on that specific lease, EXHIBIT C?

The Notice of Request for Bids for airport ground lease, RFP, under Terms and Conditions of the biding process, number 2. reads:

“The winning bidder has fifteen months from the date of the winning bid to complete construction of the hanger on the South Hanger pad.”

That would be 2/17/17.

This is not consistent with what is stated in the executed lease of Dec. 17, 2015; ARTICLE XI “IMPROVEMENTS”; Initial Improvements–

“Upon receipt of the Authority Executive’s approval of plans and specifications, the Operator shall have fifteen (15) months to complete the construction and be in operation.”

The lease language, referencing construction completion, is counter to the language of the RFP. They are suppose to be one in the same.

The submitted unsigned lease, EXHIBIT C, Dec. 21st, page 14 reads:

“Within a reasonable time period but in any event not longer than[6] months upon receipt of the Authority Executive’s written approval of said plans, specifications, and construction time schedule.”

At what date was written approval given and why are leases different?

The hanger in question had been in a construction limbo with only the foundation completed. The Cedar Creek Hanger was further along, however stalled. Construction has begun on both hangers since the subject has become public. The Hix Hanger is still not completed. It is 50 to 60% completed as of this date. Completion date will not comply with the RFP or any of the leases in question.

The ground lease dated Dec. 17 2017 and the unsigned ground lease dated Dec. 21, 2015, EXHIBIT C do not conform to the Terms and Conditions of the RFP set by the Fairhope Airport Authority. The EXHIBIT C lease is not the executed lease sent to the Ethics Commission Feb 8th 2016. The executed lease was signed Dec. 17th almost 3 months prior to the required Ethics Advisory Opinion, Feb. 3rd 2016.

Per the information that has been provided, both directly and publicly published on the Fairhope Airport Authority website, the lease in question, which was executed and memorandum of such recorded, would be null and void. The authority did not follow it’s own RFP. Nor did they adhere to the Ethics Advisory Opinion. The production of three different leases, EXHIBIT B, EXHIBIT C and the Dec. 17/15 lease, for one RFP, certainly would confuse anyone.


The PUBLIC anxiously awaits your answer.

Read the latest 🎉 Terrific Tuesday 🎉!

14 Comments on "??? WHO’S ON FIRST ???"

  1. Please continue your work and send someone/people to jail. We don’t need this crap in Fairhope.

  2. Your, clearly in depth, investigative reports would be so much less criticized if they were grammatically correct. I would be happy to edit for your blog.
    I don’t know Karin personally, but I voted for her change and I am sick to death of Burrell’s efforts do destroy her chance to make Fairhope a better place.

  3. T.C. Harris | March 18, 2017 at 8:01 am |

    Jack Burrell is dirtier than Kant. Fairhope must rid itself of this Mississippi trash.

  4. Sick & Tired of Jack Burrell!!! | March 19, 2017 at 3:24 am |

    Wondered where Burrell was from – knew he was not from this area even though he acts like he thinks he knows everything. Wish to goodness he would GO BACK JACK to where you came from & stir up trouble there as that is what you try to do. Jack Burrell is the MOST arrogant, disrespectful & rudest individual that I have seen in a very long time.

    • I wonder, wonder. Wonder where Ripp is from – know he was not from this area even though he acts like he thinks he knows everything. Wish to goodness he would GO BACK RIPP to where you came from & stir up trouble there as that is what you try to do. Paul Ripp is the MOST arrogant, disrespectful & rudest individual that I have seen in a very long time. Works here too!

  5. AnonFruitinut | March 20, 2017 at 4:07 am |

    It looks like the airport commission is a coffee club with an accounting and secretarial problem in the least. What kind of lawyer okayed all this shotty paperwork? Is Burrell going to take any credit for the fiasco this thing has become? What about the complaints filed with the ethics commission for bid rigging? This whole thing is terribly embarrassing and the council goes with it? Why is this okay? Why is Mayor Karin the bad person? This whole thing is a rotten fish.

  6. The bottom line …. Why is the city paying for something and getting nothing in return.?

  7. i just dont understand why any of this really matters….are you seriously putting this much time and effort into investigating whether paperwork was done correctly?? WHO CARES?

    i wonder how many rejections that alabama ethics commission has ever issued?
    if the answer is almost none, could we not know that the assumption was made that it would go thru because they almost always did go thru?

    in other words ‘ok, as a teeny tiny rural airport we made mistakes in paperwork etc, but it was not malicious and lets all figure out how to clear this issue so we can move on to more important things.’

    i appreciate the very good and detailed reporting, but i cant figure out why we are all investing so much into the past

  8. COPY CAT from wonder, wonder, wonder – March 20th 2:24 am – you have to copy when you are quilty & in the wrong. What a joke from you!!! What really needs to happen now is all the long time residents of Fairhope need to come forward with all the crap & corruption that has gone on for YEARS!!! Then – we will see where all you Kant, Burrell & Boone supporters stand – you will not have a leg to stand on! All the long time residents of Fairhope – it is time to stop being quite & come out of the woodwork!!!

  9. About time this crap came out!!! | March 21, 2017 at 2:23 am |

    I do not care where Ripp is from – he has the guts to tell it like it is – GO PAUL RIPP – Thank YOU, Thank YOU, Thank YOU for getting this mess & corruption & FRAUD out in the PUBLIC. This should have happened a LONG time ago!!! And in case you are wondering – I know NOTHING about Paul Ripp – except to say wish you had stepped up a long time ago to help prevent this mess in Fairhope. You can only Hide behind flowers for so long!!!

  10. StandardBearer | March 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm |

    You seem to cast a lot of stones from your glass house. I don’t know any of you people, but implying that someone did something unethical based on the date of a letter filed on their behalf by the Ethics Commission seems to be pretty flimsy. And you don’t seem to like how long it took for construction to begin?!?! Seriously, that doesn’t really pass muster for a corruption scandal.

  11. StandardBearer | March 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm |

    I mean, seriously! You are alleging something based on that the Ethics Commission Approval Letter came 4 months after the documents were signed?? Even if the issue is that the cart came before the horse (and I don’t think that is the case), there is still a cart and a horse. It seems there was a requirement for an Ethics Opinion and they got one – one favorable to the deal. So what am I missing?!?!? Who cares if it took the Commission 4 months to print a letter? The opinion is still the same. Cart. Horse.

  12. Lancaster Flint | March 21, 2017 at 10:58 pm |

    Meanwhile, every time it rains raw sewage is pumped into the bay, duck crap is everywhere on the “beach” and the water is unsafe. I would move but I overpaid when I bought my house here. Fairhope’s best days are behind it now. Nothing but growing pains ahead. The developers are going to run it into the ground and the city will never pay for good roads and a sewerage system that works. There are so many grinder pumps it is alarming. I have never seen such a thing. Disgusting when you see how nasty it all is. I hear that there are no emergency pumps for if a hurricane comes. The crap will be stuck on the hills over fairhope proper. Kant knew about this and so did Burrell. Big health scare coming our way soon if a storm comes. No way around it. Fairhope has a long way to go to undo the kant years. Burrell is not helping matters. He looks monetarily involved in the airport deal. It stinks worst than the bay.

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