Sequim chamber breaks silence about firing executive director

SEQUIM — Leaders of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce said they fired their executive director for “poor performance of routine job duties,” inappropriate behavior toward women and other business groups and for complaining about his pay.

Lee Lawrence, who was fired on Jan. 18 after he refused to resign from the position he had held for six months, described the board’s allegations as “outrageous.”

Lawrence, a longtime civic activist and a former Sequim Citizen of the Year, said that “the truth will ultimately come out in the proper forum.”

Five “issues of significance” were listed in a “Public Statement related to the Dismissal of the Chamber Executive Director,” addressed by the Sequim chamber’s board of directors to chamber members in an e-mail sent late Friday afternoon.

One of the five accusations was that “regional business organizations have intentionally excluded Sequim from meetings on matters of regional concern because the executive director’s behavior and interactions are such that he is simply unwelcome.”

The text specifically mentioned the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors as being among other unnamed business groups that had excluded Lawrence because of his behavior.

Port Angeles chamber Executive Director Russ Veenema and chamber president Dave Neupert said that wasn’t the case.

“I don’t know where that particular comment came from,” Veenema said. “That hasn’t happened.”

More in News

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA add fill to the playing surface at the new Monroe Athletic Field on Tuesday at the site of the former Monroe School near Roosevelt Elementary School in Port Angeles. The synthetic turf field, which is expected to be completed by mid-autumn, is being developed by the Port Angeles School District and will be available for community athletic events. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Monroe field prep

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA… Continue reading

Petitions developed by local citizens seek to keep the “new” Towne Road unpaved and open to hikers and walkers. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Public comment sought about Sequim’s Towne Road future

Meeting for residents scheduled for Tuesday

Eran Kennedy.
Sound regional publisher stresses local connections

Partnerships offer lifeline despite struggling industry

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes water-logged timber from a sinkhole on Kearney Street outside the Food Co-op on Tuesday at the start of construction of a traffic circle at the intersection of state Highway 20/East Sims Way and Kearney Street in Port Townsend. Traffic heading eastbound toward Port Townsend will detour at Benedict Street and turn left on Washington Street to return to Highway 20/East Sims Way. Traffic going westbound away from Port Townsend will turn right at Kearney Street and left onto Jefferson Street to continue on Highway 20. The detour configuration will last about four weeks, according to the state Department of Transportation. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Roundabout construction

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes… Continue reading

Members of the Bagley family of Forsyth, Ill., from left, parents Jessica and Cameron Bagley, and children Cody, 10, Addie, 12, and C.J., 7, look at an information kiosk on the Olympic National Park wildfires on Tuesday in front of the park visitor center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Blazes spread in center of Olympic National Park

Large helicopters requested to keep fires at bay

Wreck shuts down US 101 south of Brinnon for five hours

A semitrailer driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel… Continue reading

Peninsula College sophomores Ian Coughran, left, and Ciera Skelly were two of seven students participating in the inaugural Pathway Summer School at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory this summer that focused on education and career development in STEM fields. Both Coughran and Skelly plan to pursue degrees in environmental science. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Internship through college presents career pathways

Students part of inaugural class at Sequim laboratory

Bathrooms possible at Ridge in November

Utility project may allow winter access

Most Read