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Call it "Spaceport Corruption," Not Spaceport America. Audit says former Spaceport chief was corrupt

There are damning audits, and there are incredibly damning audits.

But the audit released Tuesday of former Spaceport America Director Dan Hicks is possibly the most damning audit I've ever read. Read the audit here. The 362-page document is action-packed with stories of corruption, dysfunction, violations of state law, and, well, you name it.

Hicks, with the help of the Spaceport's former finance director, Zach DeGregorio, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money on unauthorized trips and lobbying efforts, hired pals without going through a competitive bidding process, tried to give himself a huge raise and violated numerous state policies, the audit said.

The audit, conducted by The McHard Firm in Albuquerque, said that instances of possible criminal violations have been turned over to law enforcement authorities.

State Auditor Brian Colón, whose office released the audit, “It's critical that management at all levels of government support ethical behavior. Setting an honorable tone at the top by establishing and following internal controls is essential. People in positions of power more easily have the opportunity to misuse and abuse their authority. It's crucial that we hold people in power accountable. The tone at the top must be transparent and committed to honesty, integrity and accountability.”

Here are some excerpts from the audit.

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