Investigation Finds Difference of ‘Management Style’
WINDSOR LOCKS, CT — The man who is credited with saving the life of a co-worker back in 2011 accused Kevin Dillon, the head to the Connecticut Airport Authority, of creating a “hostile work environment” that caused him to resign after 26 years.
Rollin Tebbetts, the former airport operations manager, resigned on July 19. In his resignation letter he said it was so awful working for Dillon that he resigned his $126,000 job without any immediate employment opportunities.
“Most people come to work in fear,” Tebbetts said in his resignation letter. And, “Mr. Dillon uses inappropriate and abusive language.”
His exit prompted the chairman of the Connecticut Airport Authority Charles Gray to call for an investigation. The results of the review were released publicly Monday at the Airport Authority’s monthly meeting.
Pullman & Comley was hired to conduct the interviews and prepare a report for the board.
The report found “differences of opinion on management style rather than specific issues of personnel administration or operations.”
Gray said there were no health and safety issues found during the investigation.
The report said “Mr. Tebbetts suggested a lack of emphasis on safety, but state that he had no examples of any lapses in safe operations. In fact, safety and security are priorities that are regularly reinforced by senior management, as witnessed by the successful FAA inspection.”
Gray also noted that Tebbetts made similar complaints in 2009 about former senior management at Bradley concerning the lack of command and intimidation of employees. That time he was reprimanded for insubordination in the manner in which he reported to senior management.
“We conclude that Mr. Tebbetts has not raised any material conduct or compliance issues, and in particular no issues relating to operations or safety,” the one page report states.
Following the release of the report, Dillon said it was the conclusion he expected.
“It’s unfortunate we had to expend time on false allegations,” Dillon said. “But I have great respect for all the staff here.”
Dillon was hired in 2012 and is currently paid more than $381,375 in salary and bonuses.
The authority also contributes the maximum of $50,000 annually to a separate retirement plan — a 401a — for Dillon, and also provides him with a $400,000 term life insurance policy. He has a state vehicle for both his executive duties and “personal purposes within the New England states and New York.”
Tebbetts was unable to be reached for comment Monday. The landline number listed was not in service and he has not responded to emails sent to his LinkedIn account. Tebbetts responded on Wednesday after this story was published to say he knew when it took Gray nine days to respond to his initial email that the investigation was not being taken seriously.
“I knew they weren’t going to be taking this seriously,” Tebbetts said.
The Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees Bradley International Airport and the five general aviation airports, was established in July 2011. Before the quasi-public agency was created, the airport was run by the state Department of Transportation.