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General Mitchell airport director fired

Ismael Bonilla, director of Milwaukee County’s General Mitchell International Airport, has been fired, effective immediately.

Bonilla’s firing comes after the county’s independent audit services division in August informed County Executive Chris Abele that it had finished an investigation into alleged misconduct by the airport director, a county official said. The investigation found that Bonilla used privileged information in a way that financially benefited former co-workers, said the official.

The auditors have submitted their findings to the Milwaukee County Board of Ethics, which will review the findings and decide what’s the appropriate action to take in response to the alleged ethics violations.

“For six years, it has been my unambiguous expectation that County employees operate with the highest ethical standards at all times – the taxpayers deserve no less,” Abele said in a statement that was released Thursday afternoon. “The mere suggestion that the integrity of the procurement process was in question anywhere in County government would be a serious cause for concern. In order to ensure confidence in the airport’s operations, I have made the decision to bring in new management. We will also implement comprehensive, formal re-training on procurement procedures at the Airport.”

Brian Dranzik, director of the county’s Department of Transportation, will serve as acting director of the airport while the county searches for a permanent replacement.

About Alex Zank, alex.zank@dailyreporter.com

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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