Aviation Hall president says Turner damaging group’s reputation

At the 2015 National Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony Apollo 13 astronaut James A. Lovell received the first Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award. The event was held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. LISA POWELL / STAFF
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At the 2015 National Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony Apollo 13 astronaut James A. Lovell received the first Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award. The event was held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Dayton Republican says panel appointed to develop long-term plan for organization.

In his first extensive comments since Rep. Mike Turner called for an investigation into the finances of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the president of the national organization says statements made by Turner have damaged the Hall’s reputation and may hurt fundraising efforts.

NAHF President and Vice Chairman Michael J. Quiello said the group will cooperate with the investigation, but officials have been puzzled by allegations of mismanagement and misapporpriation of funds made by Turner.

“The Board of Trustees, who are all very distinguished individuals, are struggling to understand the intent of the letter that went from an investigation, to an inquiry to a now a panel and an investigation that’s finding things when no one has come to the Hall of Fame and looked at records,” he said.

In a statement released Monday, Turner called on the NAHF to work with a blue ribbon panel of financial, legal, accounting and experts “with the goal of developing a long-term financial plan” for the organization. Three former board members — Wolfgang Dalichau, Zoe Dell Nutter, and William Gunlock — would serve as advisers to the panel, Turner said.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, will both appoint liaisons to the panel, Turner said.