When Ted Sexton, the airport authority’s vice president of operations, flew to Dallas in July 2004 to meet with Southwest Airlines officials, his flight was booked one day before he left.

The cost of the direct coach-class flight was $1,977.20.

A suit filed by a former authority employee alleged that Sexton paid $1,200 for an airline ticket to travel to bring back Blue Bell ice cream for an employee barbecue and then received authority reimbursement.

An airport authority audit found that the trip took place, but did not substantiate the employee’s claims that Sexton was reimbursed for buying ice cream. Sexton had traveled to Southwest Airlines headquarters to learn about its employee development program, the audit said. Sexton purchased the ice cream, but did not do so at any cost to the authority, the report stated.

A California Public Records Act request did not produce any evidence that Sexton was reimbursed for the ice cream.

But documents obtained under the act show that Sexton’s out-of-town travel request – required to be submitted before arranging travel – was not approved until two weeks after his trip. He left July 21; his flight was booked July 20.

The documents are here.

ROB DAVIS

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