Portugal’s government has sacked TAP Air CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener, in a scandal over an irregular $500,000 severance payment.

The payment was made to a former executive board member. Ourmières-Widener and chairman Manuel Beja were dismissed with just cause. This came after the general finance inspectorate deemed that a payment made to former government official, Alexandra Reis, was illegal.

The announcement came during a press conference, held by Minister of Infrastructure João Galamba and Finance Minister Fernando Medina, in which he said: “This episode has shaken the confidence of the Portuguese in TAP and it is essential, above all, to recover the bond of trust between the country and the company.”

Luis Rodrigues, current CEO of SATA, and CEO of regional airline Azores, will take over as both chairman and CEO.