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California Coastal Commission Names New Executive Director

CPR Photo/Max Pringle
 

CPR Photo/Max Pringle

(AP) - The California Coastal Commission, which abruptly fired its executive director last year without explanation, has chosen his successor.

The panel on Friday unanimously appointed Jack Ainsworth to head the agency's more than 150 staff members. He'd been interim director since last March.

The commission has broad sway over construction and environmental issues in coastal areas that include some of the most coveted real estate in the U.S.

A year ago, the commission ousted former Executive Director Charles Lester in a closed-door vote.

That decision sparked protests by environmental activists who charged some commissioners wanted a more development-friendly director.

Commissioners called that claim groundless.

Ainsworth, who's been with the commission for nearly three decades, says he'll do his best every day to "protect the coast for everyone."

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