Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) sent the following letter to National Aviation Hall of Fame Chairman Bill Harris informing him that language has been included in the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, passed by the House this week and set to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President, amending the organization’s congressional charter to keep it from relocating outside of Ohio:
“As you will recall, earlier this year National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) Board of Trustees’ President/Vice Chairman Michael Quiello publicly threatened to cause the NAHF to relocate its headquarters from Dayton, Ohio. Additionally, your counsel David Greer has repeatedly informed members of the local business community of your considering relocation of the NAHF.
In response, I have caused your Congressional charter to be amended to prohibit further attempts to relocate the NAHF. Please inform your Board of Trustees that, effective immediately, the NAHF’s Congressional charter (36 U.S.C. §23101 et seq.) has been amended to clarify where the organization’s principal office may be located. The relevant sentence from 36 U.S.C. §23107 now reads:
The principal office of the corporation shall be in Ohio.
Mr. Harris, I am pleased that Congress and the President are joining together to end threats to my community by the NAHF Board of Trustees leadership. I look forward to your continued presence in my community.”
On January 25th, Congressman Turner sent a letter to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NAHF, Bill Harris, stating he would investigate the Congressionally Chartered organization after receiving troubling information concerning its finances.
On January 30th, Congressman Turner received support from two National Aviation Hall of Fame Trustees Katie McCallum and Donald I. VanDerKarr after announcing his plans to investigate the NAHF.
On February 1st, Congressman Turner sent a letter to Mr. Harris alerting him that the NAHF must cease and desist all deliberation, efforts, or activities that relate to selling or improperly disposing of artifacts in the NAHF’s possession.
On February 6th, Congressman Turner announced Phil Parker, President and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, and Brady Kress, President and CEO of Dayton History, would be tasked with forming a Blue Ribbon Panel to create a sustainable plan for the NAHF’s future.
On February 6th, both Senator Rob Portman and the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Rob Bishop (UT-01) expressed their support of the investigation and the Blue Ribbon Panel.
On February 14th, NAHF President Michael J. Quiello said in an interview with Dayton Daily News that the NAHF could “vote to pick up the Hall of Fame and move it to some other city that’s welcoming to us.”
On February 15th, Congressman Turner sent a letter informing Mr. Harris that he was drafting legislation to terminate the congressional charter of the NAHF.
In July, Congressman Turner included language in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 to keep the headquarters of the NAHF in Ohio.
Congressman Turner is exercising his oversight authority to investigate these allegations concerning the congressionally chartered organization.