12 News Investigates: JMAA officials’ trip to United Arab Emirates

12 News Investigates

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In May 2020, two members of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the global air show.

JMAA Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Brown and Chairman Robert E. Martin took to the skies May 22 for the show.

After emails from viewers asking 12 News to look into the trip, we combed through public records. Here’s what stood out from the expenses:

  • Brown’s tab:
    • Room service and dinner cost: $3,412
    • Room charges: $4,142
    • Transportation: $435

The total for the hotel was about $7,989 and some additional change. Keep in mind, these totals are in UAE currency.

With $3.67 Emirati Dirham equal to $1.00 U.S. dollar, Brown’s total translates to $2,175 U.S. dollars.

Chairman Martin’s hotel total translates to $862 dollars.

“The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) reimbursed CEO Paul A. Brown and Chairman Robert E. Martin for their hotel rooms, taxes, transfers, and COVID-19 testing. They were each reimbursed $168.00 per diem per day,” LSherie Dean, JMAA Director of Communications, Marketing & PR, stated in an email.

The plane ticket for Brown was more than $3,300, and Martin’s was at least that much. They would not interview on camera after several questions, but we received the following statement on their behalf from Dean:

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) was proud to be invited to speak at two (2) key sessions of the Global Airport Leaders Forum, and to represent the Jackson aviation system at the renowned industry conference. Our attendance at the Dubai event by the Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer was carefully reviewed and approved by the Board of Commissioners. 

Chairman Robert E. Martin

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories