The Downtown Long Beach Alliance and its longtime president and CEO, Kraig Kojian, “have mutually agreed to part ways,” the organization announced Wednesday.
The statement did not clarify whether Kojian quit or was fired, and a DLBA spokesman declined to comment beyond the group’s brief statement.
“The DLBA and Mr. Kojian wish each other well,” the organization’s statement said. “Because this is a personnel matter, the parties will not comment further on this action.”
Kojian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news came amid a DLBA-led investigation into Kojian for alleged mistreatment of employees. The probe was spurred by a letter a former DLBA employee sent to City Councilwomen Mary Zendejas and Cindy Allen in August, according to the city. The letter did not include any allegations of criminal conduct or sexual harassment, but it accused Kojian of “workplace bullying and a toxic work environment, largely inflicted upon women workers.”
The DLBA is a nonprofit that supports Downtown Long Beach businesses and manages two business improvement districts in the neighborhood. Kojian served the organization for 25 years.
The Long Beach Post previously reported on the letter, which it obtained from the city through a Public Records Act request. While the letter-writer signed the six-page document and included information about their position at the DLBA, city officials redacted all identifying details before releasing it publicly.
“I strongly believe Mr. Kojian’s pattern of workplace bullying of female employees constitutes gender discrimination,” the letter said, “and is cause for investigation and correction.”
The DLBA’s Executive Committee Chair Loara Cadavona said by phone last month that she could not share details about the probe, including who was investigating.
“Since it is a personnel matter, I won’t be able to comment on it other than to say we take these matters very seriously,” she said at the time, “and we’re really committed to conducting a thorough investigation.”
In its Wednesday statement, the DLBA said its separation from Kojian took effect that day and that DLBA Chief Operating Officer Broc Coward will lead the organization, under the direction of the Executive Committee, on an interim basis.