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County Officials Spar in Feud Over Oxnard Marina

The chief executive says a supervisor's claim of a deal between Channel Islands Harbor director and a tenant is baseless.

November 01, 2005|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Ventura County's chief executive rebuked veteran Supervisor John Flynn on Monday for what he said was a politically motivated attack on the county's harbor director.

County Executive Officer Johnny Johnston accused Flynn of engaging in a "pattern of harassment of staff" when he publicly stated last week that Harbor Director Lyn Krieger had given a "sweetheart deal" to a Channel Islands Harbor tenant.

Johnston said the charge was without merit and was meant to bully Krieger at the behest of harbor-area residents unhappy about plans to redevelop the aging Oxnard marina.

Flynn could not be reached for comment.

Over intense opposition, supervisors in 2003 approved construction of a boating instruction center at the harbor.

Flynn, 72, originally supported the project but changed his mind in the months before his reelection to an eighth term last fall.

"Supervisor Flynn changed his position on the location of the [center] and he continues to pressure state officials and county staff to change their professional judgment and recommendation," Johnston wrote in a three-page report to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Steve Bennett asked for an investigation into Flynn's allegation at the Oct. 25 board meeting of a "payoff" involving Krieger in return for a harbor tenant's support of the boating center.

There is no evidence that money exchanged hands.

Flynn later recanted the allegation but has said he still believed that some kind of deal took place, Johnston wrote.

In an interview, Johnston said Flynn's allegation was "very, very serious." "He basically accused someone of a felony," Johnston said. "And as far as I can tell, there was no basis whatsoever for the charge."

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