The Latest: Grand Canyon chief will focus on social justice

FILE - This May 19, 2018 file photo released by the National Park Service shows Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent, Christine Lehnertz at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. Lehnertz has not returned to her job nearly a month after being cleared of accusations she created a hostile work environment, improperly disciplined an employee and wasted park resources. The park announced last month that the investigation by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General fully exonerated Lehnertz. The allegations were made public Tuesday, March 5, 2019, when the office released its investigative report. (Michael Quinn/National Park Service via AP, File)

Grand Canyon chief says she'll focus on social justice and women's empowerment when she leaves the job at the end of March

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Latest on the resignation of the Grand Canyon National Park superintendent (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

The departing superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park says she'll work to promote social justice and empower women after she leaves the job this month.

Christine Lehnertz announced Thursday that she's retiring from the job she's held since August 2016. She was tasked with changing what federal investigators said was a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the park.

Lehnertz says in a statement that she's proud of the progress employees have made to create a more respectful and inclusive workplace.

In the past few months, she was reassigned, cleared in a federal investigation and decided against returning to the Grand Canyon.

She says she's reassessed her priorities. She says she'll now work to empower women, promote social justice and support families challenged by Alzheimer's. Her mother had the disease.

___

8:50 a.m.

The first female superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park is resigning after less than three years at the helm of one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

Christine Lehnertz is the park's first openly gay, female superintendent and the second consecutive Grand Canyon chief to leave under pressure.

She started the job in August 2016, tasked with changing what investigators said was a pervasive culture of sexual harassment in the now-defunct river district.

Christine Lehnertz notified the National Park Service on Thursday of her resignation.

It comes after she was cleared of allegations she created a hostile work environment and wasted park resources.

Attorney Kevin Evans says he was concerned about Lehnertz's safety over what he called "baseless and defamatory accusations."

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