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Hoteliers Want Bureau Chief Out

October 31, 2002|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

Citing a "crisis" in convention bookings, the managers of six downtown hotels called Wednesday for Mayor James K. Hahn to press for the replacement of George Kirkland as president of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In a letter to Hahn, the hotel general managers threatened to stop paying membership dues unless he steps in and effects "an immediate change in leadership" at the bureau, which is mostly funded by the city through a contract.

Hahn spokeswoman Hilda Delgado said the bureau's board, not Hahn, has the power to appoint and replace the president. She said the mayor had no comment on the letter.

In a recent radio interview, Hahn signaled that he was watching the performance of Kirkland and the bureau.

In their letter, the hoteliers criticized the board for refusing to accept Kirkland's offer earlier this month to resign.

"The gross mismanagement of the bureau is unprecedented and yet the board has stated that Mr. Kirkland has done a good job" the hotel executives said in the letter, released Wednesday.

Kirkland did not return calls for comment, but bureau board Chairman Alan Rothenberg issued a statement that defended Kirkland and the board against the hoteliers' criticism.

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