Coastal Commission fires chief sparking outrage

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Former Coastal Commission Exec. Dir. Charles Lester speaks at a public hearing before being fired.

SAN DIEGO – The California Coastal Commission voted late Wednesday to fire Executive Director Charles Lester despite strong public opposition to the move.

The commissioners voted 7 to 5 to fire Lester in a private session and did not explain their action.

During a public hearing before the vote, many speakers said that replacing Lester would send a message to commission staff that the board supported more coastal development, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) tweeted: “Let me apologize to the public. I truly thought my appointees would be better stewards of the coast.”


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