Labor leader Joslyn Williams appointed to airports board

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Local,Transportation,Liz Essley,MWAA

Union leader Joslyn Williams will join the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority after being confirmed by the D.C. Council Tuesday.

Williams, who was approved unanimously, will replace former D.C. councilman H.R. Crawford on the airports board, which oversees Dulles International and Reagan National Airports, as well as the $6 billion Dulles Rail project. The board was recently faulted by federal and state officials for ongoing reports of nepotism, contracting irregularities and insider dealing.

"We have been on notice with many reports about the problems that exist at this board," said Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser during the course of the council vote. "I think that anytime we have a vacancy here, we have to know that our nominees are going to be working toward these issues. ... Having the workers represented is a good thing."

Williams is president of the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO. The labor leader will have to work closely with business leader Barbara Lang, another recent appointee to the board from D.C. and president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Williams joins the airports authority after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell attempted to oust another union executive, Dennis Martire, from the board, saying his union affiliation amounted to a potential conflict of interest in overseeing construction of the Silver Line.

Alan Blinder contributed to this report.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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