Former Spacport Director: Nothing Wrong With Purchase Agreement

Las Cruces – New Mexico's outgoing spaceport director says there was nothing wrong with his efforts to purchase a ranch near the spaceport site.

Steve Landeene said today that he and his wife began considering whether to buy the Jornada Ranch in Sierra County for themselves after Spaceport Authority board members declined an opportunity to buy it for the state's use.

Landeene resigned two weeks ago, one day after a personnel hearing was called to investigate whether there was a conflict of interest.

But Landeene says he always placed New Mexico's interests ahead of his own.

The purchase has not gone through, but Landeene says he would have been willing to sign the land over to the spaceport if board members later decided the ranch was needed for expansion, such as a crosswind runway or customer facilities.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.