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