One lawsuit against Tupelo Airport Authority settled

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

Just days before going to trial, one of two lawsuits against the Tupelo Regional Airport Authority has been settled.
On Thursday, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills dismissed Reid Dawe’s case against the Authority, which Dawe claimed had violated his rights when he was demoted.
Dawe was the former director of operations at Tupelo Regional Airport. He resigned in August 2010 shortly after his demotion to maintenance technician.
Shane McLaughlin, one of the attorneys representing Dawe, said all parties agreed to the settlement. He said details will not be disclosed.
Dawe’s trial was to have started Monday.
McLaughlin said the lawsuit by former airport executive director Terry Anderson, whom he also represents, against the Authority is “unaffected” by Dawe’s settlement. That trial is set for June 3.
Anderson was fired by the Authority in December 2009. He had led the airport for nearly a decade.
Dawe worked at the airport from 1987-1990 and from 1999 until the time he resigned.
The Authority said Dawe “did not satisfactorily perform” his duties as operations director and cited several examples as reasons for his demotion.
Dawe’s suit said the Authority had retaliated against him for helping Anderson in his age discrimination case against the Authority, as well as giving airport information to Anderson and a former board member.
Dawe “was so upset about his outrageous demotion, and the board’s attempts to keep Tupelo residents from knowing about operation of their airport” that he resigned, his suit had claimed.
Anderson and Dawe filed their suit together against the Authority in early 2011, but in October of that year, the court agreed to the Authority’s motion to separate the cases.
Both men had asked for monetary damages from mental anxiety, stress and loss of income.
dennis.seid@journalinc.com