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Mar 19, 2014 9:21 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Baykeeper McAllister Says He Was Fired Illegally: Denies Charges Of Affair

Mar 20, 2014 11:53 AM

UPDATE: Thursday, 11 a.m.

Kevin McAllister has confirmed that he was fired from the Peconic Baykeeper organization and said that if he is not reinstated he will file a wrongful termination suit against the not-for-profit group.

On Thursday morning, Mr. McAllister said he was fired by board member Brendan McCurdy on March 4 based on allegations that he had an inappropriate romantic relationship with Baykeeper’s development and communications director, Alexandra Millar, and that he was abusing alcohol while on the job—both of which Mr. McAllister has denied.

According to Mr. McAllister, the allegations against him are completely unsubstantiated and a formal investigation was never launched. Now, Mr. McAllister, who said he does not have an employment contract with the organization, says he wants to be reinstated to his position pending a formal investigation into the claims.

"I have been in my job for 16 years," Mr. McAllister said on Thursday. "I do great work, am highly regarded by the community and public officials, and to be forced out like this is very underhanded."

This week, Mr. McAllister said while he was friends with Ms. Millar, he never had a romantic relationship with her. He added that although he was terminated for the alleged relationship, Ms. Millar is still employed by the organization and is being allowed to act as a spokesperson regarding his leave.

Mr. McAllister also says the way he was terminated was illegal, pointing to a text message he received from Mr. McCurdy on March 12; "Kevin, you are forcing my hand, call me now or suffer the consequences."

He questioned whether there were other motives to his firing, and whether Ms. Millar might be a candidate to replace him.

"Is there more to this story than just purely these allegations?" Mr. McAllister said. "Did Brendan want to move me out for some reason? Who is the spokesman for the organization now?"

Ms. Millar was not immediately available for comment on Thursday morning.

According to Barbara Matthews, Mr. McAllister's attorney, she has not received any written allegations listing reasons why he was fired, which is illegal, she said. This week, she intends to file a notice of position against the organization insisting his job be restored pending an investigation, or a lawful termination suit is possible.

"It is our position that he is the Peconic Baykeeper," she said.

Contrary to other published reports, Mr. McAllister denies claims he is trying to start a second baykeeper organization.


Kevin McAllister, the longtime face of the local not-for-profit environmental group Peconic Baykeeper, has left the organization.

Dedicated to improving the aquatic ecosystems of the Peconic and South Shore estuaries, the organization on Tuesday evening confirmed Mr. McAllister’s departure, but would not offer any details, including when he left. Most traces of the Quogue resident have been erased from the organization’s website, Peconicbaykeeper.org.

It is unclear whether Mr. McAllister left by choice or was asked to leave, and attempts to solicit comment from him this week were unsuccessful.

“We can’t disclose anything further than that at this time,” the Baykeeper’s development and communications director, Alexandra Millar, said Wednesday morning. “There will be more information in the coming weeks.”

Mr. McAllister, who took the helm of the organization in March 1998, was serving his 16th year as Baykeeper, and was known for his outspoken nature and taking a stand for local waterways. During his tenure with the group, he was involved in several lawsuits against local governments, businesses, Stony Brook University and the State Department of Environmental Conservation in his battle to save local waterways.

According to recent tax filings by the Peconic Baykeeper, Mr. McAllister was paid $96,353 in 2012.

Peconic Baykeeper was founded in 1997 when it became the 19th baykeeper organization to be sanctioned by the Waterkeeper Alliance—a grassroots force for environmental change on a global scale. According to its website, the Peconic Baykeeper organization focuses on conservation through “management initiatives, public education, research, monitoring and participation in the public environmental review of projects and activities that may adversely impact the ecological health of the region’s estuarine waters.”

On Wednesday morning, Ms. Millar said she could not share any information about Mr. McAllister’s departure, including whether a search to replace him has started or if a replacement has already been tapped. She did say that the organization still intends to pursue a planned move from Quogue to Upper Red Creek Road in Hampton Bays as soon as a land deal is finalized.

Also on Wednesday, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said that, although he did not know the circumstances surrounding Mr. McAllister’s departure, he was surprised.

“I have worked with Kevin for many, many years,” Mr. Thiele said. “I have always appreciated the passion he brought for water quality and protecting the environment.”

Staff writer Carol Moran contributed reporting to this story.

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Kevin McCallister c. 1990: This is my house, I have to defend it.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Mar 19, 14 11:11 AM
3 members liked this comment
"Most traces of the Quogue resident have been erased from the organization’s website, Peconicbaykeeper.org."

Hmmm . . .

At the website, the Photo Gallery still has some shots of Mr. McAllister. Wonder if these will be purged as well?

This ecosystem appears somewhat out of balance IMO. The promised "more information in the coming weeks” will be interesting indeed.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 19, 14 11:21 AM
he was paid a salary of $96,353!?!? he also got to take leisurely cruises on the baykeeper boat around the east end from great south bay to easthampton on the organizations dime...something smells fishy :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Mar 19, 14 5:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
how petty a remark. good thing it did not require a real piece of paper. grow up.
By sstorch (49), water milll on Mar 20, 14 6:34 AM
@sstorch~how does one blow a raspberry on a real piece of paper...oh, Pbbbbbbbth!
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Mar 21, 14 4:05 AM
Newsday Article:

Attorney: Kevin McAllister fired as Peconic Baykeeper after relationship with staffer

Originally published: March 19, 2014 7:20 PM
Updated: March 19, 2014 7:29 PM
By DAVID M. SCHWARTZ david.schwartz@newsday.com
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 19, 14 8:19 PM
so, where is the crime with the relationship? Underage? Adultery? or finally found a good reason to get rid of him
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Mar 20, 14 3:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern must be relieved at the news.
By btdt (449), water mill on Mar 19, 14 8:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
no reason to speculate. i had also applied for the job in 1998. i played soccer with kevin at Southampton college for a couple of years. the job would have frustrated me to the point of distraction. in 1980, when the brown tide decimated the peconic bay estuary we, as a town did NOTHING to change our habits. the rape of the land continued. the use of landscape chemicals continued. we live on a water shed. how we effect water quality on the land has a direct on the water quality of the aquatic ...more
By sstorch (49), water milll on Mar 20, 14 6:33 AM
5 members liked this comment
Well said. People 'care' but only if it means it doesn't affect their way of life directly. Save the bays - but don't take away my chemicals. Save the bays - but don't put up a waste water treatment plant. Save the bays - but let me clear cut my property.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 14 8:13 AM
2 members liked this comment
The same problem with Kevin Mcallister, All Words. Nobody likes Kevin. He's a pompous so called environmentalist but drives around in his fossil fuel burning truck and boat...good riddance.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Mar 22, 14 7:43 PM
Somewhere, a local restaurant owner (who's space is on Dune Rd in East Quogue) is enjoying his breakfast today....
By G (342), Southampton on Mar 20, 14 9:35 AM
2 members liked this comment
Yep, I wonder how many slips said restaurant owner will build?
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Mar 20, 14 12:31 PM
$96K a year to drive a boat around the bays all day, with a drink in one hand and a pretty young thing next to you? I want this job!!!
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Mar 20, 14 1:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is starting to smell like low tide at various putrid estuaries.

It is time for the Board of Directors to speak publicly and on the record.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 20, 14 1:15 PM
A number of remarks following this article are inane and/or mean spirited. Not to mention premature, as this story has just broke and the actual facts have yet to be brought to light. This is especially true of the comments from those courageous souls who insist on remaining anonymous. The Southampton Press would not publish an anonymous letter to the editor in their print edition and should not allow anonymous posts here.

As for Mr. McAllister getting to "drive around the bay all day" ...more
By Neely (17), Westhampton Beach on Mar 20, 14 2:38 PM
So this is what it feels like to lose a so called advocate whose effort never amounted to a single quantifiable positive result. I think we are going to make it.
By Stanker (2), southampton on Mar 20, 14 3:08 PM
Isn't it interesting that SHE remains employed at the organization after such allegations? If Kevin was terminated for "alleged" romantic involvement, does SHE not share any responsibility for her action? Why hasn't the BOARD member terminated her? And further, SHE is the spokesperson who says that more information will be available in the coming weeks... Kevin, look into whether SHE is behind the allegation that cost you your job. Perhaps the BOARD member is the one having "romantic" relations? ...more
By ronaldjr (1), Westhampton Beach on Mar 20, 14 3:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
You are correct. Defamation of character should be looked into. I would say there are actionable items in your post and that it should be entered into evidence. Your only defense might be that authoring tall tales is part of your job description.
By Stanker (2), southampton on Mar 20, 14 5:03 PM
From the article it seems like there is more to it than just the supposed relationship with this individual. Am I the only one that read they are saying he "was abusing alcohol while on the job"? Additionally the text that was quoted certainly indicates that there was an ongoing discussion before this occurred. As usual, no one here knows all the particulars of what transpired. While this may be a shock to the community, it doesn't mean that it was a shock to the organization. I don't know the ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 14 8:03 AM
As for Ms. Millar "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
By joan s (53), hampton bays on Mar 21, 14 10:04 AM
1 member liked this comment

Court is in session:
Madame foreman, what say you?
We the jury, find the allegations true and recommend that he be placed in a prius and renamed County Road 39 keeper.

So ordered!
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 20, 14 3:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
And he's threatening to sue his own company now? He's a baby and mad at his board so he wants to protect his good name? Being caught with your pants down and hands in the cookie jar is not pkeasant I'm sure. Take your lumps like a man.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 20, 14 3:28 PM
Sounds like an episode of "Royal Pains."
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 20, 14 4:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Where is the real crime here?
as long as the female staffer is 18 (21 would be a reasonable age limit), what is the big deal?
People tend to hook up with people they spend time with or know, ie work

If your spouse is cheating it would be wise to look at their co workers

But drinks on the job? His job like many others including networking and social gatherings to promote his cause and milk donations out of the wealthy.
What is so wrong about drinking? It is legal, ...more
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Mar 20, 14 9:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
also, wasn't it the said female employee in question that gave the original statement to the shpress about the firing?!?
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Mar 20, 14 9:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, it states that she is the "Communications Director". Nothing odd there.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 14 8:11 AM
This is an easy analysis of minor detective work. Let's go depose all the local bartenders in the area to see how much "environmental socializing" and "milking" he was doing.

Maybe the staff member was 18, maybe. Maybe there are deeper issues of sexual harassment in the work place that was reported to the board - that maybe be inappropriate behavior.

Maybe he used his quasi-political influence to create an inappropriate sexual relationship.

There's more to the story ...more
By rita33 (11), East Quogue on Mar 20, 14 10:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Is it too much to ask, boys and girls, that you wait until the facts are out before offering up your uninformed opinions as to what is going on? These are real people, with friends and families, that some of you are slandering without the the least bit of evidence to support your assertions. Again, this is very easy to do while hiding behind a screen name.
By Neely (17), Westhampton Beach on Mar 20, 14 11:09 PM
4 members liked this comment
The updated story says it all! Brendan McCurdy was jealous of Kevin in that he wasn't able to have an inappropriate relationship with Alexandra Millar...so he fires Kevin in hopes to make a move on her...as the world turns!
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Mar 21, 14 3:53 AM
I seem to be reading a different article than you. I didn't see anything like that written. ???
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 14 8:05 AM
you have to know how to read between the lines!
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Mar 21, 14 6:24 PM
According to the update, McAllister has no employment contract with the organization therefore he can be terminated at will, no reason necessary. End of story.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 21, 14 5:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Call in Bill Clinton! Having survived being pinned with a scarlet letter himself he can consult on how to survive a scandal and come up smiling. It is too bad that mcCurdy could not have challenged McAllister for a duel lof bagpipes instead, Alec Baldwin could have declared the winner! And our contributions to this organization would not now be going to litigation instead of protection of our waters. Or does McCurdy have a financial fund set up for that? What are the directives governing that ...more
By AL (83), southampton on Mar 21, 14 7:50 AM
Meanwhile, the good ship "Sound Conclusions" is still far from the dock . . .

What say ye, Board of Directors?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 21, 14 8:35 AM
Unfortunate that McAllister found it necessary to go public on this. If Ms. Millar was sexually involved with McAllister why is she still there and he is gone? There has to be more to this story.
By Old Quogue (11), Quogue on Mar 21, 14 10:06 AM
3 members liked this comment
The lord takes care of drunks and fools, so they say...
By rita33 (11), East Quogue on Mar 21, 14 2:51 PM
When is a consensual relationship not a consensual relationship? When it's sexual harassment. Textbook case: alcoholic boss decides he is in love with the new employee and she trapped in a relationship, fearing loss of her job if she says anything. Mix in piloting a boat while drunk and the board couldn't act fast enough to loss that liability.
By new old inlet (1), Bellport on Mar 21, 14 10:12 PM
4 members liked this comment
So do you have facts to back up this story you are telling? Because while I have absolutely no knowledge of this situations facts, that's a pretty wild set of accusations. It seems like you just read the story, and then spun the most damaging tale you could out of the accusations. Nowhere does it say sexual harassment. No where does it say this woman was trapped in a relationship.
By bubby (236), southampton on Mar 23, 14 9:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
A consensual relationship not a consensual relationship when it's sexual harassment or forced or inside a workplace. The Baykeeper admitted that he "flirted" with her and that's his side of the story. Maybe she was lured and manipulated into what he calls a "consensual" relationship - remember no means no. We will all know soon enough but certainly the allegations raises questions on both sides.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Mar 23, 14 1:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
A cogent insight based on the facts in the article.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 23, 14 3:59 PM
Seems to me like McAllister is his own worst enemy. If he is going to waste all his donor list's money on litigation, his career in the over paid non-profit sector is finished in these parts. In addition, he reveals all that I need to know about this situation, namely that his board was not willing to secure their only key person of 16 years with an employment contract.
By Beach Grass (7), Westhampton Beach on Mar 22, 14 1:35 PM
Glad to see the Baycreeper go! Nothing like a guy who lives on a canal with a bulkhead opposing bulkheads and boat slips. He epitomizes hypocrisy, tooling around the bay in his boat polluting while looking for others to criticize for polluting the bay... He should've been rowing if he is so flipping perfect and green.
By FoReel (18), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 14 2:35 PM
3 members liked this comment
That's very true about environmentalists. The largest water polluters on the east end are farmers and we want to preserve their land.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Mar 23, 14 9:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
Any evidence that backs that up? Reality is the biggest pollution problem is acid rain at 50%, farming 25%, and the rest of us at 25%.
Facts count to people other than you, Chief.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 23, 14 10:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
Good riddance. He's always been a hypocritical sycophant hiding behind a good-guy/save the environment facade, picking and choosing his battles based on emotion as opposed to science - and misleading the public into thinking he's an actual "official" named the Peconic Baykeeper. He worked for the Peconic Baykeeper Organization. Let's get someone effective and honest in that position to protect our waterways for real.
By getalife (61), Southampton on Mar 25, 14 11:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
Acid rain causes 50% of the water pollution out here? Where did that gem come from? Or has Biab been drinking said acid rain.....?
By G (342), Southampton on Mar 26, 14 9:36 AM
Not allowed to post the link. Research Dr Chris Gobler, SUNY Stony Brook acid rain
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 29, 14 3:35 PM
blank!, I can't find anything specific by Dr. Gobler. Can you post the link by replacing the actual dots with "[dot]" etc.? Or more specific hints about the year of publication, co-authors, etc.?

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 29, 14 7:57 PM