Report: Washington State Ferries operations director fired

SEATTLE -- The operations director for the state ferry system has been fired, The Seattle Times reported Sunday.

The Times said Steve Rodgers, who had worked for Washington State Ferries for 42 years,  confirmed to the newspaper late Saturday night that he had been fired.

He had been reprimanded in July and placed on paid administrative leave after State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson accused him of treating her disrespectfully, the Times said, and then he was fired on Thursday.

Washington State Department of Transportation did not confirm the termination, saying only that an employee had been fired and that the person can still appeal the termination.

The Times said that according to public records it had obtained, when Peterson announced in June that she was reopening the hiring process for a new ferries director, Rodgers responded with an email to Peterson. In a phone call, Peterson described his attitude during the conversation as "belligerent, challenging and unprofessional."