2013-09-05 at 13:44
Linda Gambee has been the face of the Christmas Cheer program for years.
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Linda Gambee and the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition board of directors have acrimoniously parted ways.
Gambee, a long-serving member of the board, was give the boot Wednesday night at a meeting specifically called to deal with the situation.
The face of the annual Christmas Cheer campaign, Gambee had alleged other board members had been drinking and driving while leaving the CLE grounds after regular board meetings, a practice she said had gone on for some time.
Gambee had complained that board members also had access to a fully stocked bar, the liquor provided by the CLE.
“They could kill someone that I love, someone that you love or anyone else,” an emotional Gambee told reporters after her fate was sealed by more than 80 voting members of the century-old organization.
“There were phone calls as late as last night from members of our board to voting members saying you need to come out and vote, she is shutting down the bar.”
CLE board chairman Ralph Scharf said it was a private matter.
“I hope the members here keep it to themselves. This is an internal discussion. The public will get their own version and deal with it the way they want to,” Scharf said.
A motion carried forward by the board called Gambee's conduct “unbecoming of a board member.”
Gambee says she was ousted a result of threats of a slander lawsuit she made against other board members.
In a release issued late Thursday afternoon by the CLE board, it indicates Gambee was removed because the threat of a lawsuit is considered a conflict of interest. According to the board, Gambee threatened to sue various board members numerous times.
"As far as the CLE board members are concerned, the membership meeting had nothing to do with anything previously reported in the media and any such comments were not sanctioned by the board," the release states.
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Gambee declined to comment on whether the board's decision will impact this year's Christmas Cheer campaign or her involvement with it.
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