The embattled Executive Director of the Port of Oakland notified the Board of Port Commissioners Monday that he was retiring effective immediately in the wake of a scandal surrounding questionable expenses.
According to sources, Executive Director Omar Benjamin turned in his letter of resignation that said he was stepping down because of the issues of expense reimbursement and that they present obstacles too great to overcome.
The Port of Oakland issued a press release Monday that confirmed his departure, stating Benjamin had notified the Board of his retirement.
A KTVU investigation brought to light questionable expenses at a strip club in Texas and many other expenses by the Port's Maritime Director James Kwon.
The investigation also found Benjamin's name was removed from the club receipt. Kwon remains on administrative leave as the Port continues its investigation.
In his resignation letter, Benjamin wrote "Please note, I accept responsibility for my actions and those who worked under my leadership."
Acting Executive Director Deborah Ale Flint will continue to direct the Port's key business plans and growth initiatives while overseeing the Port’s day-to-day operations, according to the Port's press release.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.