The Port of San Diego
board of commissioners has placed Wayne Darbeau, its chief executive officer, on administrative leave and said he will be terminated at the end of the year. It named John A. Bolduc, its harbor police chief and vice president of public safety as acting chief executive officer.
Citing California law about personnel matters, the port’s board made the change on Friday without specifying its reasons, but it followed press reports
about an email that Darbeau sent to the head of a port tenants association asking for assistance in trying help his son find a summer job when he came home from college.
Even as the board voted to replace Darbeau, Chairman Bob Nelson praised Darbeau “for his great stewardship of the district and executive leadership.
"Wayne has made a great impact on, and terrific contribution to, the Port District, in almost four years as CEO and throughout a 17-year career at the Port in which he excelled in various high-level management roles. We thank him for a job well done and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” Nelson continued.
The board said Darbeau streamlined the organization and improved business processes, reducing headcount from 577 to 496 without layoffs and contributing to a "revival of the Port District's maritime operations in both its cargo and cruise businesses." It also said he "turned an inherited budget deficit into a projected budget surplus" for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
Bolduc spent the last four years serving as chief of the harbor police department where he oversaw 158 employees — nearly a third of the Port's staff. Mark Stainbrook, the assistant chief, has been named acting chief of the harbor police department.