Grand Canyon superintendent retires after harassment investigation

Park Service says change in leadership will move agency forward in addressing sexual harassment.

 

Amid strong criticisms of his response to sexual harassment complaints from female employees of the park, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga has announced his retirement.

Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.

In an email sent to Grand Canyon staff, Uberuaga wrote yesterday that he recently met with National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, to discuss the Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General recent investigation of sexual harassment in the park’s River District. “We discussed the current situation and the Director told me he has decided a change in leadership is needed in order for the Park to move forward,” he said.

Jarvis offered Uberuaga a position in Washington D.C. headquarters instead, but Uberuaga chose retirement after being with the agency for 31 years. This will be effective June 1. There’s no word yet on his replacement. Park Service spokesman James Doyle says the next step is to run a “system-wide assessment of sexual harassment and hostile work environment to find out if these conditions exist elsewhere.” The Park Service still declines to provide details about future disciplinary actions to be taken against perpetrators or administrators who failed to take action to protect employees.

Lyndsey Gilpin is an editorial intern with High Country News. See our ongoing coverage of this topic. 

 If you are a federal public land employee and would like to report your own experience with sexual harassment, please fill out our confidential tip form.