Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is not sitting idly by in the latest union dispute to overtake the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board, the group in charge of the $6 billion Dulles Rail project.
The governor is taking action in two lawsuits concerning his removal of Dennis Martire, a union executive, from the airports board.
"Dennis Martire is making the argument for the opponents of Dulles Rail by his very actions. And what the governor is attempting to do is to restore public trust in the MWAA board," Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton told The Washington Examiner.
Martire sued the governor last week, saying he was unlawfully interfering in airports business.
"The board has autonomy. We're not supposed to be dictated to by politicians. We're supposed to be calling balls and strikes here. That's what we're supposed to be doing, for our passengers, for our toll road riders, and for now building a rail system," Martire said Wednesday.
McDonnell's administration is now asking that the lawsuit be dismissed from U.S. District Court in D.C. If Martire wants to sue, he should sue in Virginia, Connaughton said.
The airports authority filed its own lawsuit Monday, asking for a Fairfax County court to decide whether Martire or Caren Merrick, the McLean businesswoman McDonnell appointed to fill Martire's seat, should be given a vote.
Virginia is asking to represent Merrick in that suit, Connaughton said.