By SUSAN SCHELL
The Board of Directors of the South Coast Humane Society voted to terminate its executive director, Gary Johnson, at its meeting Monday night.
Jim Newman, former Humane Society president now acting as executive director, told The Pilot, "The board felt the long-term relationship (with Johnson) wasn't working out. I have temporarily relinquished my position as president to step into the position of executive director."
Newman said the Humane Society was putting the executive director position back out for application, but the position may not be officially filled until after the organization's annual board election in June.
Johnson, a former field officer for Haven Humane Society in Redding, Calif., brought many years of experience to the South Coast Humane Society, having worked his way up from a kennel attendant.
Johnson could not be reached for comment, but told The Pilot in an interview last November that when he began working for the Humane Society he was aware that there were political issues within it.
Johnson said he had hoped he could get everyone "on the same page."
"We've got to get the cat people' talking to the dog people,'" Johnson said in the interview. "We must try to reach a mutual consensus on what is best for the animals."
Newman would not give specific details on the reasons behind Johnson's termination, but said, "Those people in the community will know why."