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McAleer stands by decisions leading to whilstleblower complaint, run for port commission

August 26th, 2013 - 5:07am

(Port Angeles) -- A candidate for Port of Port Angeles commission says she did the "right thing" in pursuing a complaint that led to the resignation of the port's executive director.

In an interview with KONP, Colleen McAleer also says didn't collude with port commission president Jim Hallett to have former executive director Jeff Robb removed from the position. Robb resigned citing health reasons.

A story first reported by the "Sequim Gazette" last week showed emails in which McAleer, who is the port's property manager, and Hallett outlining efforts Hallett made with commissioner John Calhoun to get Calhoun's vote to remove Robb. McAleer and Hallett exchanged thoughts about a potential whistle blower complaint. Hallett encouraged McAleer to file the complaint as a way to "wake up" another commissioner to take up the issue.

But McAleer refutes that she worked only with Hallett on the issue. She says she had contacted commissioner John Calhoun first by phone with her concerns. She says she took notes from that call and emailed Hallett. McAleer claims the May 15th email exchanges revealed last week were actually Hallett's response to her phone-call notes.

Hallett declined to comment to KONP on the issue.

McAleer filed the whistle blower complaint the next day and also announced she would run for port commissioner. She remains on the port payroll and says she would've stepped down if there was someone capable of taking over her job at the port.

McAleer stands by what has happened through the process. She tells KONP: "I tried to make really good decisions. I wish the circumstances were different, but any public employee has a responsibility to bring up problems they see with the leadership of the organization."

McAleer calls it "disappointing a 'scandal' is drawing attention away from the issues with the port".

McAleer is running against Del Delabarre for a seat on the port commission.

The port commissioners hold a meeting Monday morning, where KONP has more may be presented related to the issue.

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