In a Press Release issued yesterday, the NTSB announced that Alfonso J. Montano has been appointed as an NTSB administrative law judge (“ALJ”). Judge Montano is replacing retired Judge Pope and will hear cases in Circuit II (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina,Porto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia). Judge Montano has been an ALJ for 15 years with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration and was a trial attorney with the Department of Justice before becoming an ALJ.
Although Judge Montano does not appear to have any aviation experience from a legal or judicial perspective, he does at least hold a private pilot certificate. It will be interesting to see how quickly he gets up to speed on aviation enforcement cases. Hopefully his experience as a private pilot will be a benefit to airman appearing in proceedings before him.