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Source: AviationLawExperts.com
Gregory S. Winton, Esq.

National Transportation Safety Board Law Judge Dismissed Four Emergency Orders of Suspension Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration Against Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificates.

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 7, 2005 -- On May 24, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Administrative Law Judge Patrick Geraghty Ordered dismissal of four Emergency Orders issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, suspending Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic certificates held by four employees of Air East Airways, a Fixed Base Operator located at Farmingdale Airport in New York. The law judge dismissed the Emergency Orders for "failure of proof". (Administrator v. Tarascio, et al., Consolidated NTSB Docket Nos. SE-17389 - 92).

Three of the mechanics are sons of Michael Tarascio, owner and operator of Air East. In September 2004, a law judge dismissed an Emergency Order of Revocation issued by the FAA against Michael Tarascio. (Administrator v. Michael Anthony Tarascio, NTSB Docket No. SE-17176). In that case, the FAA sought revocation of Tarascio's Airline Pilot and A&P mechanic certificates. That dismissal was affirmed by the NTSB. Thereafter, the law judge Ordered the FAA to pay $21,978.47 for attorney fees and expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (5 U.S.C. 504, et. seq.) The law judge held that the Revocation "was not substantially justified in law or in fact." (In the Matter of the Application of Michael Anthony Tarascio, NTSB Docket No. 314-EAJA-1716). Within the past nine months, five Emergency Orders issued by the FAA have been dismissed. Four Emergency Orders were issued against members of the Tarascio family. The fifth Order was issued against a mechanic who works with the Tarascio family. In all cases, Respondents were represented by Gregory Winton, a former FAA trial attorney.

During discovery, FAA officials from the Farmingdale Flight Standards District Office testified under oath that they were instructed to treat the Tarascio family "differently." The instructions were issued by Inspector John Krepp and supported by FAA Regional Counsel, Loretta Alkalay, and staff attorney Brendan Kelly. One FAA official testified that the Emergency Orders were issued as part of a "witch hunt" against the Tarascio family.

Winton stated that "prosecution of these cases against the Tarascios without basis in law or fact is a violation of their constitutional rights and a complete waste of government agency resources."

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