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Corpus Christi Port Commissioner Steps Down

Mayor Joe McComb (center) announced the resignation of Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner Wayne Squires during a media conference in council chambers December 19. Courtesy photo

Wayne Squires stepped down from the Port of Corpus Christi Board of Commissioners on Thursday, December 19, 10 minutes before Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McCombs was to hold a media conference concerning Squire’s resume. Instead, McCombs announced the resignation.

The story leading to Squires’ resignation began with an anonymous letter to the mayor and an investigation by KRIS 6 News. According to the letter, Squires, who is one of the city’s three appointees to the port commission, did not actually graduate from Pennsylvania State University as stated on his resume. Penn State was unable to verify that Squires had a degree. KRIS 6 News ran a story about the discrepancy December 18, the night before the media conference.

According to Squires’ bio on the Port of Corpus Christi website, which has since been taken down, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State. He attended the school for six years, from the fall of 1973 to the fall of 1979.

Squires has 38 years' experience in the oil and gas industry, including as chief executive officer and president of Orion Drilling Company LLC; co-founder and president of Pioneer Drilling; and president of PRC Drilling Company.

Community positions held include member of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation Board of Trustees and past president of Del Mar College Foundation.

Along with resigning from the port commission, Squires also stepped down from his seat on the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation.

“I want to thank the city for giving me the opportunity to serve,” Squires wrote in his letter of resignation. He did not address the discrepancy on his resume but said he was quitting because it was “best to move forward in the critical times without this distraction.”

Port commission Chair Charlie Zahn will appoint a new representative to the EDC board to replace Squires. McCombs said the city will immediately begin exploring a replacement for Squires, whose position expires in 2021. Both Zahn and McCombs praised Squires’ service to the community.

Zahn said the oil and gas executive “made the Port of Corpus Christi a better organization.”

The mayor said the resignation was a sad day for the city.

“Squires made a tremendous contribution to this community,” McCombs said. “The port’s better for it; the city is better for it. It’s just unfortunate circumstances that came to this conclusion.”

McCombs also pointed out that having a degree was not a requirement to serve on the port’s board, which is an unpaid position.

“I like Mr. Squires and have respect for him,” McCombs said. “For some reason, he checked the blank that said degree, and the university did not confirm that.”

The Port of Corpus Christi Board of Commissioners is made up of seven people: three appointed by the city of Corpus Christi, two by Nueces County commissioners, and one by San Patricio County commissioners. They each serve three-year staggered terms.

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