PINING FOR THE DAYS OF THE SMOKE-FILLED ROOM, DOWNTOWN — Port of San Diego CEO Wayne Darbeau was recently relieved of his position after what several of his fellows on the Port Commission called "a shocking breach of professional standards."
Explained Port Commission Chairman Rob Belson, "Mr. Darbeau sent an email to the president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, asking if Association members could assist him in getting a job for his son. An email. A piece of correspondence that can be shared with millions of people at the touch of a button. That can be traced back to an individual computer and sender's account. That is almost impossible to 'lose.' That kind of gross incompetence in handling a piece of nepotism as simple as getting your kid a summer job speaks volumes. If we can't trust our CEO to get away with small infractions, how can we trust him to get away with big ones? Something like this could have been accomplished with a few words in an elevator. Or better still, in the steamroom down at the club. It's like I always say, 'If everybody's naked, then nobody's wearing a wire.' The Port of San Diego has long prided itself on the intelligence and slickness with which it serves its own financial interests. I like Wayne, but when you're in deep, you need to be able to trust the guy next to you not to get caught doing something stupid. Really, not to get caught at all. I'm just glad we were able to oust him now, before he did something terrible to the organization. The public trust is a sacred thing; if it gets publicly violated, then it becomes impossible to govern effectively. Heh, I said, 'govern.'"