LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Long Beach City Council has removed Harbor Commission President Thomas Fields from his position after allegations of excessive travel expenses.
The City Council voted 6-3 to confirm the removal of Fields, who had been under fire over a number of accusations, the most compelling of which was the cost of his international travel.
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster led the criticism of Fields, alleging that he spent $77,000 on eight overseas trips since 2011.
“They were talking about the travel,” Fields said. “There was travel by a lot of people, far more than mine.”
Not everyone is happy with the decision to remove Fields from his office, however. Many supporters suggest that his removal ultimately will be economically detrimental to the city of Long Beach.
Fields himself says he became the target of widespread criticism over the topic of relocation of the port’s headquarters. He says that he supported buying a building for $12 million, but that the city ultimately paid double.
He also says that the decision to remove him from office will result in a decline in business at the port, but that he will continue to advocate for the city of Long Beach.
“We have created this sense of instability at the port, and our customers, our partners, see it.”