The San Diego Unified Port announced that the Board of Port Commissioners has placed Wayne Darbeau, its CEO, on paid administrative leave through Dec. 30, after which his 17 years of employment at the Port will end.
The acting Port CEO will be John Bolduc, current chief of Harbor Police.
Darbeau, who served as interim president and CEO of the Port of San Diego from October through Dec. 2010, when the position was then made permanent, came under fire recently after seeking summer employment for his college-aged son from port tenants. In June a U-T San Diego Watchdog report found that Darbeau eased contract requirements on Pasha Automotive, a port tenant that hired his son after a separate request in 2012.
“This agreement shall not in any way be construed as an admission by the District or Darbeau of any unlawful acts or wrongful acts or other liability whatsoever against each other or against any other person or entity,” the severance agreement states.
The Board voted six to one on the severance agreement on Friday, with Robert Valderamma opposed.
“John excels at motivating people,” Port Chairman Bob Nelson said in a statement. “He’s affable, he’s an excellent communicator, and he’s an inspirational leader. We are grateful to have John at the helm during this time of transition and reflection, and we have no doubt he’s going to serve the Port well in his new capacity, just as he has so effectively served the public during his entire professional career.”
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