When Bob Watkins, the airport authority chairman, took office in 2006, he reported owning his consulting business, property near the airport and more than $100,000 in stock. He reported the investments on his annual conflict-of-interest report.
In the two years since, Watkins hasn’t disclosed anything on the annual forms. He has ticked a box that says he has nothing to report. The airport authority’s conflict of interest code requires board members such as Watkins to disclose “all investments, business positions, interests in real property and sources of income.”
But county records show that Watkins still owns property near the airport as well as a home in Alpine. His business, R.J. Watkins & Co. is located at 2515 Brant St., eight blocks from Lindbergh Field. He listed its fair market value at being more than $1 million when he took office. He stopped reporting it in 2008.
The lack of disclosure is potentially problematic. The property sits in an area that the airport authority’s board has land-use planning powers over, giving Watkins the power to influence future land uses there. And Watkins signed the annual disclosure forms under penalty of perjury. Such disclosures are made to alert the public about potential conflicts of interest. Officials who fail to fully report their interests can be fined up to $5,000 per violation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Watkins stopped disclosing other investments after taking office. He held stock in four companies when he filed his first conflict disclosure form in 2007. In the two years since, he has stopped reporting holding any stock. Unless the value of any stock dropped below $2,000, he would’ve been required to continue reporting the investments up until the time he sold them. His conflict disclosures never show him selling any stock.
When he made his initial disclosures, he also owned his consulting business, R.J. Watkins & Co., and listed its value as being between $100,001 and $1 million. He subsequently stopped listing it as an economic interest, but didn’t report selling it. Unless the company’s value dropped below $2,000 — the threshold for reporting potential conflicts — Watkins would’ve been required to continue reporting it.
The company’s website still lists Watkins as the business’s president and chairman. Watkins didn’t return two calls for comment.
Watkins has come under scrutiny as of late. He recently repaid the authority $1,200 for Chargers tickets he used to take his niece’s husband to a game played in London last year. Watkins initially said he’d taken a member of Parliament involved in airport security issues.