Sanford Airport's CFO given big severance payout without board approval



SANFORD, Fla. - WFTV news found out the Sanford Airport police chief and Chief Financial Officer resigned and was given a big payout.

Bryant Garrett wasn't contracted to receive a severance if he resigned, but he got six months salary to leave, which adds up to more than $60,000.

Garrett told Channel 9’s Karla Ray that the airport’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Dale forced him to resign and gave him the big payout to prevent a lawsuit.

WFTV asked Dale if he had the authority to pay out that much money in severance without board approval, but he didn’t comment.

Eyewitness News obtained a separation agreement after Garrett resigned without notice in March.

Over the next six months, he’ll receive more than $60,000.

“It occurred on a Friday afternoon and on Monday, this was all done with. The board didn’t even hear about it,” said blogger Jeffrey Frazier.

According to a copy of Garrett’s contract, he is still receiving benefits and was allowed to keep his tax dollar-paid laptop and iPhone, at the sole signature of Dale.

“I don’t believe he had a lawful authority to reach into the taxpayer’s pockets and give any person their money,” Frazier said.

Ray went to Garrett’s home to ask why he resigned.

He said that Dale forced him to resign and threatened to find a way to fire him if he didn’t.

WFTV also learned Dale’s right-hand woman, administrative vice president Diane Crews, gained the title of director of finance.

The new title puts her in line to take over Dale’s position when he retires.

“Does Mr. Dale have this authority? This is not Mr. Dale’s airport. This is the taxpayers of the city of Sanford’s airport,” Frazier said.

The expensive separation contract could end up costing taxpayers even more because Dale is considering signing a contract for a financial consultant.