There's a bit of turbulence at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
The agency is cracking down on itself after reports of lavish travel, questionable contracting practices and what some view as a sweetheart deal for a former MWAA board member.
The Airports Authority Board and senior staff have for years done their work under the radar. But there has been a great deal of scrutiny lately, including from the Obama administration, chiefly because of the way MWAA has been exposed doing its business.
"It's sort of an old boys network working here," says MWAA board member Shirley Robinson Hall.
She spoke out at a contentious meeting of the MWAA Board.
"We've basically been vilified in the media recently and it's been an uncomfortable situation for me personally," she says.
The board has authority over Reagan National and Dulles Airports, the Dulles Toll Road and Phase 2 of Metro's Silver Line to Loudoun County.
It has come under fire in the media after an Inspector General's report blasted the Airports Authority for its hiring practices, travel policies and for the way it awards no-bid contracts.
"And I'm sorry that we are in this state right now," added board member H.R. Crawford. "I think it is very discouraging and disgusting. This board has become everything that it should not be."
The Airports Authority's President and CEO Jack Potter came under fire for recently hiring a board member days after she resigned - for a job paying $180,000 a year.
"She leaves on a Friday and goes to work on a Monday," quizzed board member Dickie Carter. "Anybody who looks at this would leave with the impression that she was paid off to get off this board of directors."
"I am fully responsible for the hiring of Mame Reiley," Potter told the board. "I hired her because of her skill set."
About those lucrative, no-bid contracts:
"In any given situation, you're going to know somebody that knows somebody that may know a contractor. And it seems like you're really putting us in a straitjacket," says board member Warner Session.
After one board member was criticized for spending $9,000 of taxpayer money to fly business class to a conference in Europe, the board has now placed new restrictions on members' domestic and overseas travel.
"The bottom line is we're putting in best practices," says MWAA CEO Potter. "And it's our job - the chairman and my job - to make sure that we follow those practices and that we earn whatever trust we have lost."
Potter and the MWAA Board are now working on ethics reform.
And that former board member hired by the airports authority is now leaving her job, but taking with her a year's severance: $180,000 worth.