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San Diego Port Authority CEO’s Job Performance Under Review

The job performance of Port of San Diego President and CEO Wayne Darbeau was under scrutiny by the agency's board of commissioners, port Chairman Bob Nelson announced Tuesday.

In a statement, Nelson said Darbeau's work was discussed at a closed session meeting.

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

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

"The Board of Port Commissioners is independently reviewing our executive director's performance," Nelson said. "As a personnel matter, the Ralph M. Brown Act requires evaluation of our direct reports to be dealt with in closed session meetings.

"Tuesday was our first opportunity to collectively consider available facts and review relevant policies, regulations and law," Nelson said. "Neither our executive director nor other employees of the Port District participated in Tuesday's evaluation. We will continue to gather facts and evaluate this matter in an additional closed session discussion at the earliest date."

Darbeau said last month that he acted like most parents when he reached out to "professional and personal networks" to find job openings for his son, a college student.

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