• Air traffic controller accused of having pipe bomb to get job back, sources say

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charges were dropped against an air traffic controller suspected of being in possession of a pipe bomb in his house in November 2017. Now, sources told Channel 9 he is getting his job at the airport tower back. 

    Prosecutors said Paul DanDan's roommate Derrick Fells gave him the bomb, but shortly after making his first court appearance, Fells died and his testimony died with him. 

    At the time, the FAA terminated Dandan’s access to the Charlotte Douglas airport. He also lost his job as an air traffic controller.

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    “From the start, Paul has denied any wrongdoing in this case, and we've always said we've looked forward to addressing this in court,” Frey, told Channel 9.

    Eyewitness News Anchor John Paul reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm Dandan was returning to work. 

    The FAA said, "The FAA would consider an employee eligible to return to normal employment status when charges are dropped in a criminal case. The employee would need to be recertified by the FAA before performing duties as an air traffic controller." 

    But, Paul obtained an internal email from the tower that says "I was advised last night that Mr. Paul DanDan will be returning to CLT ATCT on an expected date of Wednesday July 24, 2019."

    Channel 9 reached out to Dandan's attorney Ron Frey, but they had no comment. 

    Dandan, from the beginning, denied that he intended to use to the device to hurt anyone.

    Prosecutors concluded, "There is no evidence that this defendant intended to use it as a weapon in any way."

    “Obviously, we're very pleased with the decision to dismiss the charges and as a respected firefighter, paramedic and EMT and air traffic controller, Paul looks forward to moving on with his life,” Frey said.

    After the charges were dropped, Channel 9 reporter Mark Becker asked Frey if Dandan wanted to try to get his job back.

    “Well, this is the first step in the process,” Frey said. “I mean, obviously, this case just ended. That remains to be seen.”

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