Former Hopkins director leaves financial mess behind - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Former Hopkins director leaves financial mess behind

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Ricky Smith, the former director of Cleveland Hopkins Airport left the job in June. He also left a financial mess for himself and for the city. 

The airport was fined $735,000 by the FAA for under-staffing snow removal crews. Now Smith's home, not far from Shaker Square, is in foreclosure.

Smith owes nearly $100,000 to Key Bank on his mortgage. He and his wife Karen purchased the home for $140,000 in 2007, refinanced it for $36,000 more in 2009.

The lot outside the home holds two cars. One has a 2006 expired Maryland license plate. The other has an expired Ohio plate.

The grass is long and choked with leaves. There is uncollected mail, peeling paint, and no sign anyone is maintaining the property.

While a person’s finances might be considered a personal matter, Smith was a highly paid public official.

In fact, he was the highest paid city employee, making $234,000 per year. His personal financial mess calls into question his management ability.

Smith left Cleveland to take over the Maryland Aviation Administration, which oversees busy BWI Airport.

The FAA fines have prompted six labor unions in Baltimore to question Smith’s hiring.

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