SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — In the wake of a CBS2 investigation, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday maintained that leadership changes at the Port of Los Angeles had little to do with the controversial skyrocketing cost of its 73-foot yacht.
Garcetti announced Thursday that Geraldine Knatz, the executive director of the Port of L.A., will retire at the end of the year.
Earlier this week, John Holmes, the port’s deputy executive director, also stepped down.
Both Knatz and Holmes were questioned by CBS2’s David Goldstein about the cost overruns involving the renovation of the Angelena II.
Asked if the controversy surrounding the yacht had anything to do with his decision-making process, Garcetti said, “That was a small factor in a port that’s this size. This is a serious decision, but obviously, as I’ve expressed, there was some troubling things with (the yacht), but it was not a defining factor on anything.”
The mayor added, “I’m looking to start a new chapter. By mutual agreement, we’re moving on with leadership here, but I want to make sure that we’re keeping a careful eye on taxpayer money here while we look at the expansion of this port and that’s what’s critical to me, whether it’s a small thing like the Angelena, whether it’s a bigger thing like the expansion of a cargo terminal like this, I want to make sure that we have, in this next chapter during my administration, a leader who can make sure we see those through with value, with a careful eye, and with an eye that looks toward expanding the economy.”
Knatz, who reduced diesel truck emissions through the Clean Truck Program that began in 2008, said at 62 years old, she decided to step down.
“The mayor needs someone who’s going to be with him for four or eight years. And that’s not me,” she said.
Knatz also said the Angelena II had nothing to do with the reason she left her post.