The general manager of Yellowstone Regional Airport has been relieved of his duties, at least temporarily.
Bob Hooper was put on a semi-paid leave after a YRA board executive session June 4. The board voted 5-1 in favor of chair Bucky Hall’s recommendation for discipline, with Hans Odde voting against. After the vote Doug Johnston rescinded his “aye” vote to abstain.
It was not immediately apparent the action applied to Hooper as the board did not mention his name or any details regarding the exact discipline being doled out.
Hall has now confirmed that Hooper had been put on leave as a result of a disciplinary action. Hall said the punishment stemmed from interactions between Hooper and another YRA employee.
The leave of absence is 30 days, according to Hall.
“This will allow us (YRA board) to go over everything we can think on,” he said.
The YRA board will be holding another executive session at its budget meeting June 26. According to an agenda set for that meeting, the board will be taking “action to consider personnel matters” after coming out of executive session.
There was a total of three executive sessions on the issue leading up to the decision. A May 17 session took one hour and 19 minutes and the May 20 session ran one hour and 34 minutes. The final June 4 session took one hour and 34 minutes.
At that meeting city attorney Scott Kolpitcke was present. Although present for portions of the executive session, Hooper did not sit in on the disciplinary announcement, but his legal representation was on speaker phone.
Hall said Hooper will still be paid “some” this month and is attending a training at an outside location. He will not be doing any work on-site at the airport however.
Hooper has been general manager of YRA for 13 years.