Monday, October 22, 2012
Port of Oakland puts Kwon on administrative leave, announces new interim management assignments
Deborah Ale Flint, Port of Oakland's acting executive director, ordered Director of Maritime James Kwon to return from overseas business travel in China on Friday and placed him on administrative leave with pay, effective immediately.
It was recently discovered that Kwon spent $4,500 in port funds entertaining shipping executives at a strip club during a conference in Houston in 2008. The finding has led to a broader investigation of the port's use of public funds.
The board put Executive Director Omar Benjamin on administrative leave with pay effective immediately, according to a statement released on Thursday. No reason for the leave of absence was disclosed.
Flint also took action on Friday to make a number of management assignments, according to a port statement.
Deputy Executive Director Jean Banker will take on the additional role of acting director of maritime. Aviation Planning and Development Manager Kristi McKenney will assume the role of acting director of aviation. Associate Aviation Project Manager Hugh Johnson will assume the additional role of acting aviation planning and development manager.
"I am taking these actions to ensure that our 24/7 operations continue to meet our customers needs," said Flint. "These actions are also critical so that the port can continue being the economic engine of the region that it is. We must remember that we are a $437 million per year operation that drives over 73,000 jobs in this region."
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