Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Capitol Weekly: Coastal Commission executive director under fire

by JOHN HOWARD and ALEX MATTHEWS posted 01.19.2016

A move to oust the executive director of the California Coastal Commission is under way, an effort that marks the most significant attempt against the commission’s ranking administrator in two decades.

Commission Chair Steve Kinsey wrote a letter to Executive Director Charles Lester, saying the 12-member panel “will consider whether to dismiss you” at the commission’s February meeting.

Kinsey’s Jan. 14 letter, reviewed by Capitol Weekly, emerged Tuesday after days of intense wrangling at the powerful agency.

A statement was posted Tuesday evening on the commission’s web site for the Feb. 10-12 meeting, saying that “two items regarding the executive director have been set for public hearing and/or closed session (and) the employment status of the executive director … and if necessary, consideration of the appointment of an interim executive director … ”

Lester invoked his right to a public hearing at the February meeting before the commission goes into an executive session to consider his dismissal, sources said. The commission staff was briefed late Tuesday morning about the pending action.

State law “provides all state employees with the option of a public hearing prior to an agency’s consideration of dismissal,” commission spokesperson Noaki Schwartz wrote in an email. “There will be more information about the public hearing process in the coming weeks. Public remarks by the director may be given at the hearing.”


Posted by Steve Sinai

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