Downtown Long Beach Alliance president under investigation for allegedly mistreating workers
Downtown Long Beach Alliance President and CEO Kraig Kojian is under investigation for alleged mistreatment of employees, according to officials with the organization and the city.
The investigation 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 does not include any allegations of criminal conduct or sexual harassment, but it accuses Kojian of “workplace bullying and a toxic work environment, largely inflicted upon women workers.”
Kojian did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The DLBA is a nonprofit that supports Downtown Long Beach businesses and manages two business improvement districts in the neighborhood. Kojian has served the organization for 25 years.
The Long Beach Post obtained a copy of the letter 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.”
Kojian is still employed by the DLBA, according to Executive Committee Chair Loara Cadavona, but she declined to say whether he is currently on leave.
“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,” Cadavona said by phone Wednesday, “and we’re really committed to conducting a thorough investigation.”
Cadavona declined to share further details about the probe, including who is investigating and how long it may last.
The Executive Committee held a closed session meeting Sunday to conduct a performance evaluation of Kojian, but the committee did not take any action at that meeting.
Zendejas, for her part, acknowledged receiving the letter and said she and Allen sent it to City Attorney Charles Parkin and to the DLBA board. Zendejas said she could not comment further because the investigation is ongoing.
Allen, meanwhile, declined to comment on the letter other than to say by text, “I received the letter on a Friday and I forwarded the letter to the City Attorney and the DLBA Executive Team.”
A Thursday statement from the city of Long Beach said the City Attorney reviewed the letter upon receipt and forwarded it to the DLBA’s Executive Committee “as the appropriate body for investigation.”
“The DLBA Board of Directors took immediate action and hired an outside investigator to interview potential witnesses and establish the facts,” the statement said. “The City is confident that the DLBA Board of Directors is taking the investigation very seriously.”
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