Fired Coastal Commission exec: 'Maybe I was too independent'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 11, 2016 6:14 PM
Fired Coastal Commission exec: 'Maybe I was too independent'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the turmoil at the California Coastal Commission (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

The ousted top executive at the California Coastal Commission suspects he was fired because he was too independent.

In a telephone interview, former Executive Director Charles Lester also questioned why the commission retreated behind closed doors to discuss his status and vote Wednesday night.

Lester — who was dismissed by a 7-5 margin — says questions about a lack of communication with commission members or diversity at the agency were not sufficient to justify his ouster.

With a lot of money at stake in coastal development, Lester says there is a lot of interest in the power vested in the staff — and who drives that process.

Lester says, "Maybe I was too independent."

He has argued that commission and staff have separate roles and should not intertwine.