Exclusive: After ouster, Orr 'prepared for anything'

Exclusive: After ouster, Orr 'prepared for anything'

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email

WCNC.com

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 10:56 AM

CHARLOTTE, NC – Former Charlotte Douglas Aviation Director Jerry Orr spoke to NBC Charlotte exclusively Monday.  After decades in the position, Orr was escorted out of the airport by city officials last Thursday. 

Orr says he was fired, city officials say they merely accepted his resignation. 

On Monday, he wouldn’t say whether he thought he was treated fairly.

"I don't know.  That'll be for others to decide."

Orr refused to clear up whether or not he resigned.  But he had positive words for the interim director Brent Cagle, with whom he had just had lunch, and the rest of the management staff.

“They are well-trained and competent,” he said.

Recently Orr found himself caught in the fight between city and state lawmakers over the fight for control of Charlotte Douglas. 

Last Thursday, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill that would put the airport under the control of an independent authority. The new law names Orr the aviation director of the authority effective immediately. Upon passage, Charlotte city leaders filed a lawsuit, getting a temporary restraining order, thus retaining airport control temporarily. 

The lawsuit left Orr’s employment in limbo, and he was escorted from the airport Thursday night.

During the controversy, city leaders expressed concern that Orr was working in conjunction with state lawmakers to support the authority and secure his future employment with the authority.

Orr wouldn’t respond to the accusations. 

If the airport authority becomes law, 72-year-old Orr automatically becomes director once again.  He says he’ll be ready.

"I'm prepared for anything."

 

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