- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on the turmoil at the California Coastal Commission (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

The ousted top executive at the California Coastal Commission suspects he was fired because he was too independent.

In a telephone interview, former Executive Director Charles Lester also questioned why the commission retreated behind closed doors to discuss his status and vote Wednesday night.

Lester - who was dismissed by a 7-5 margin - says questions about a lack of communication with commission members or diversity at the agency were not sufficient to justify his ouster.

With a lot of money at stake in coastal development, Lester says there is a lot of interest in the power vested in the staff - and who drives that process.

Lester says, “Maybe I was too independent.”

He has argued that commission and staff have separate roles and should not intertwine.

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