Staff turmoil shakes powerful California coastal agency

Jan 20, 2016 7:10 PM by News Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The executive who heads the powerful agency that manages development on California's fabled coastline could be ousted from his job.

The California Coastal Commission has been involved in issues in recent months from killer whales at San Diego's SeaWorld to proposed housing developments and offshore fracking.

Chair Steve Kinsey notified executive director Charles Lester in a letter released Wednesday that the panel will consider whether to fire him next month.

Lester has held the post since 2011.

Kinsey gave no reason for the proposed dismissal.

However, environmental activists suspect some commission members want to push Lester aside to make way for management that would be more welcoming to development.

Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network says Lester's ouster would leave the agency in turmoil and intimidate its staff.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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