Cruise Ships, Port of San Diego
Cruise Ships at the Port of San Diego. Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Embattled Port of San Diego CEO Wayne Darbeau was ousted Friday by the Board of Commissioners.

John Bolduc, the agency’s vice president of public safety, will be the acting CEO.

Wayne Darbeau. Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego
Wayne Darbeau. Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego
John Bolduc. Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego
John Bolduc. Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego

According to a port-issued statement, Darbeau was placed on paid administrative leave through the end of this year, at which point he will no longer be employed.

Darbeau, who has held the job for about four years, got in hot water when he sent an email to Sharon Bernie-Cloward, the president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, asking if its members could help in his son’s search for a summer job. He withdrew the request when the message became public.

It was later reported that Darbeau’s son and his best friend had obtained a summer job with Pasha Automotive, a major port tenant, two years ago.

The tenants’ group is made up of hotels, restaurants and other businesses on port land that are affected by decisions by the port’s commissioners and executive staff.

In response to criticism about using his position to help his family, Darbeau, 61, said he was acting like most parents when he reached out to “professional and personal networks” to help find his son a job.

In a statement, the commissioners lauded Darbeau for streamlining operations and improving finances and said parting ways was the best way to build on Darbeau’s legacy.

Port Commission Chairman Bob Nelson said Bolduc excels at motivating people and communicating.

“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 effectively served the public during his entire professional career,” Nelson said.

His public safety position made Bolduc the chief of the Harbor Police Department.

— City News Service