Two Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District board members announced their resignations Sunday.
Jeremy Mills, the chairman of the board, and John Chapman, a board member, each issued statements announcing their decisions to step down.
Their resignations come after park district staff filed a formal grievance regarding “behaviors unbecoming of a board member” involving Mills and Chapman, including offensive remarks and sexual innuendo.
At a July 7 meeting, information technology director Darren Gooch and district staff mentioned incidents from last December to late June of alleged inappropriate behavior and sexual innuendo involving Mills and Chapman, both inside district facilities and out.
Gooch and employees called for the immediate resignation of Mills and Chapman.
“These incidents besmirch the district’s name in the community and undermine staffs’ ability to conduct their work effectively,” district management and staff wrote in a letter released at the meeting.
At the same meeting, Skyler Archibald, the district’s executive director, alleged Mills had delivered an inappropriate financial offer to Archibald in December after Mills allegedly sought his services at the insurance agency Mills operates in Seaside.
Mills sent a letter to Archibald and the Seaside Signal on Sunday.
“When I first stepped onto the board for Park and Rec my only goal was to strive to make it the best it could be,” Mills wrote. “At this point though I have come to believe that the direction the board is going is no longer a direction I can be a part of. I hope and pray that the new board can still continue to make successful and forward movement while still being responsible to everyone whose taxes are supporting our incredible programs. This is a heavy burden and I know that each will do so to their best understanding.”
Chapman offered a public apology in his announcement that he was stepping down.
“The road to getting here is one I believe I need to put in my own words,” Chapman wrote. “I have prayed long and hard and know that I only need to speak with honesty and truth.”
In a 2,000-word statement, Chapman said the district’s executive director position needs more clarity in its operation and role.
“It’s become clear many of the fiscal choices and goals of the executive director’s directions are not something I can accept or support, making me ineffective as a board member at this current time.”