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The Latest: Embattled Yosemite chief says he chose to retire

September 29, 2016 - 1:56 PM

FRESNO, Calif. - The Latest on the superintendent of Yosemite National Park retiring (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

The head of Yosemite National Park says he was offered a job transfer but chose to retire instead after employees made allegations that he created a hostile workplace.

Superintendent Don Neubacher emailed park staffers Wednesday, saying he's on leave until his last day Nov. 1. Neubacher said he declined an offer to serve in Denver as a senior adviser to the park service's deputy director.

His departure comes less than a week after a congressional oversight committee unveiled complaints by 18 Yosemite employees of a toxic work environment marked by bullying, harassment and other misconduct.

Similar allegations have surfaced in national parks such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Federal investigations are underway or have been completed in all three parks.

Neubacher's email doesn't address the harassment claims. He says he regrets leaving but it's best for the iconic park.

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11:30 a.m.

Officials say the head of Yosemite National Park is retiring following employee allegations that he created a hostile workplace by allowing bullying, harassment and other misconduct.

National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz confirmed Thursday that Superintendent Don Neubacher made the announcement Wednesday. Munoz wouldn't immediately say what led to Neubacher's decision.

A congressional oversight committee last week unveiled that at least 18 Yosemite staffers complained of a toxic work environment.

It comes amid a wider allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and other misconduct among employees at national parks including Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

Neubacher sent an apology email to all park employees days after the congressional hearing, referencing "some serious staff concerns related to Yosemite's workplace environment."

Neubacher wasn't immediately available for comment. He led Yosemite for nearly seven years.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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