Matthew Eisenbraun, 55, of Oxford is the Middletown assistant economic development director with oversight over the airport. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 20 on a charge of failure to report a crime, a second-degree misdemeanor. Eisenbraun remains a city employee and continues to oversee the airport.
The charges were the result of a nearly three-month investigation by Middletown police that was completed on Dec. 8. John Hart II, co-owner of Start Skydiving signed the criminal complaint on Dec. 22 against the three past and/or current employees.
The criminal complaint is in addition to Start Skydiving filing a federal civil lawsuit alleging that the city, Eisenbraun and Dickten had an “ongoing vindictive, corrupt, and deceitful attempts by the city and its key personnel to kick Start out of the airport and to harm its business, despite Start’s 20-year lease at the airport which runs through 2029.”
Start alleged city employees hacked into its financial database to spy and steal business data; violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; spread false and defamatory statements about Start’s operations to undermine them in the community; and trumped up untrue claims of unsafe operations by Start while not doing a safety analysis.
Start also alleged the city failed to honor property improvement obligations as part of the 20-year lease, developed a new master plan that did include Start and is trying to force Start off the airport with unreasonable new demands.
The lease issues between the city and Start remain unresolved.