Chicago Could Face More Fines For Bulldozing Meigs

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The FAA could levy fines of as much as $8.7 million against the city of Chicago for its destruction of Meigs Field last year, The Associated Press reported last week. The city used $2.9 million in airport development funds to remove the runway and replace the asphalt with topsoil. The FAA is investigating whether federal funds intended for repairs at O'Hare and Midway were improperly diverted to pay for the destruction, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro told the AP. If the FAA finds the funds were misused, the city could be fined three times the amount, or $8.7 million. City officials have defended the use of the federal money. Mayor Richard Daley has said the airport, which leased the land from the park district, had a legal responsibility to restore the property to its original condition, according to the AP. As AVweb reported, the city was fined $33,000 by the FAA in October for failing to give 30 days notice before shutting down the airport.