[Editor's note: The unnamed media outlets mentioned below are presumably the Long Beach Business Journal, which broke the story on the subject matter of this item, and the Press Telegram. which followed-up. LBReport.com hasn't reported this story until now.]
(Sept. 25, 2012. 5:20 a.m.) -- Councilmembers Al Austin and Steven Neal (8th and 9th districts) have agendized an item for the Oct. 2 City Council meeting that seeks an independent investigation into the recent accusations made by Commissioner Doug Drummond against fellow commissioners and current and former city employees with a report back to the City Council.
Below is the text of their agendizing memo:
Recent published reports in numerous media outlets have indicated that Harbor Commissioner
Doug Drummond made serious accusations of "improper and illegal acts" against two other
members of the Harbor Commission, as well as current and former Harbor Department
employees, a former Long Beach City Manager and a former city commissioner.
These accusations took place during an August 20 closed session of the Harbor Commission
to discuss the relocation of the Port's headquarters. The comments were made after the
substantive issues of the closed session were discussed.
The charges have thus far been unsubstantiated, and Commissioner Drummond has stated
that he subsequently issued an apology. However, the accusations leveled by Commissioner
Drummond have cast a negative cloud on the Harbor Department and drawn criticism and
public rebuke from stakeholders in the trade industry and from members of the community.
Harbor Commissioner Thomas Fields, against whom many of the charges were made by
Commissioner Drummond, sent a letter to Mayor Foster calling the accusations slanderous
and asking for an investigation "with the results made public."
The Port of Long Beach is the second largest container port in North American, and has an
outstanding international reputation for its leadership in effective and environmentally-sensitive
management. The integrity and ethical standards of the Harbor Commission and its deliberative process are of the utmost importance.
In order to maintain the highest ethical standards and integrity for the Harbor
Commission, we request an independent investigation into the recent accusations
made by Commissioner Doug Drummond against fellow commissioners and current
and former city employees, and report back to the City Council.
There is no fiscal impact.
Like any Council item, approval of this agendized item would require a voted majority of the City Council. Under LB's City Charter, the Port is governed by a non-elected (Mayor chosen, Council approved) Board of Harbor Commissioners (whose budget is subject to annual Council approval). Under a 2007 Charter amendment sought by then-recently elected Mayor Bob Foster and approved by voters, the Mayor may remove members of any Charter-mandated commission [including the Habor Commission] at any time with the concurrence of two-thirds of LB's nine elected Councilmembers. Commissioner Drummond, a former Vice Mayor and two term Councilmember, is one of Mayor Foster's two most recent Harbor Commission appointees.