Embattled airport manager resigns

SPOKANE - A Spokane International Airport manager who was arrested for drinking and driving inside the airport?s security fence in January has resigned, an airport spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Robin Billigmeier, the grounds and maintenance supervisor for SIA, quit his position Monday to ?pursue other opportunities? according to airport spokesman Todd Woodard.

Billigmeier was arrested on January 14 by the Washington State Patrol for DUI after airport police spotted him running a stop sign and driving above the speed limit. Airport police pulled him over and, realizing who he was, called in the State Patrol to make the arrest to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

During a subsequent sobriety test he admitted to troopers he had consumed three mixed drinks before driving. His blood alcohol test showed he was at .085, slightly above the legal limit. He was given a second test after he was taken to the jail but when that test showed he was below the legal limit the DUI charge was dropped against him.

Billigmeier was suspended without pay for a week after the DUI arrest. That incident prompted airport director Neal Sealock to fire off a memo to his staff saying the incident showed a failure to communicate, ?prudent management and adherence to operating procedures.?

The airport board decided to re-examine the handling of Billigmeier?s case and at their monthly meeting in March announced that management handled the matter ?in a proper and timely fashion? according to airport board member David Barkardt.

The DUI incident wasn?t the first time Billigmeier ran into trouble during his tenure as facilities manager. Three months before he was pulled over for a DUI Billigmeier drove a vehicle across an active taxiway without approval from the air traffic control tower. In the wake of that September 24 incident he was restricted from driving on aircraft movement areas including runways and taxiways until he passed Basic and Advanced Airfield Driver Training courses, which he passed several weeks later.

KXLY4's Jeff Humphrey contributed to this report

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