Chennault defers legal action against Aeroframe - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Chennault defers legal action against Aeroframe

Posted: Updated:
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Chennault International Airport Authority executive board decided Wednesday to defer any legal action against their former tenant, Aeroframe, for unpaid bills. 

"At this time, it's more important that, we feel it's more important that the employees get their money and that we have a seamless transition to AAR Corporation," said board president, Larry Avery. 

Avery couldn't confirm how much Aeroframe owed to Chennault, but said former Aeroframe CEO Roger Porter assured the board they would eventually be paid. 

"He's going to make every effort to first pay the employees. Then after that - the money that's left over - will take care of trade payables and vendors," said Avery. "I think he's going to make every effort he can to get the money and take care of his employees first."

"Our goal is to take care of our people first," said Porter after the executive session ended. "I've lost a lot of sleep over this and I hate for all the individuals that are suffering as a result of it."

Porter said he still doesn't know when former employees will receive their final paychecks, but said it's his main priority.

"As soon as funds are made available ... that's all I can promise you," said Porter. "I'm working day and night to try to do that.  t's a slow process."

Porter said the decision to end operations suddenly was an "11-th hour decision." 

"Due to a last minute conflict with our largest customer, who has ultimately refused to pay several outstanding invoices, Aeroframe had to cease operations in early August," said Porter. 

Porter did not disclose the name of that customer.

Porter said his former company is trying to avoid bankruptcy. 

"We're trying to avoid that because under that nobody - it's not a win for anybody - once a trustee comes in, I'm told by my attorneys I have zero control," Porter said. "Honestly, it might be the easiest thing for me but I don't think that's the right thing if I can avoid it at any cost."

Porter said he would certainly consider an offer to work with the incoming AAR Corporation but as of Wednesday, Aug. 21, had not been offered employment with the company. 

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow