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ATLANTA - The Atlanta BeltLine Board of Directors fired chief executive officer Brian Leary Friday morning, naming chief operating officer Lisa Gordon as interim president.

Terms of Leary's severance have not been disclosed.

The board's decision comes after reports that taxpayers paid for elaborate staff retreats, stays at pricey hotels and meals at some of Atlanta's finest restaurants for employees of the BeltLine project.

John Somerhalder, chairman of the Board of Directors, released a statement about Leary's departure Friday morning.

"Today, the board has unanimously agreed that Brian Leary will transition out of the organization by the end of the month," Somerhalder said in the statement. "Effective immediately, in her role as Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Gordon will lead the organization reporting to the board of directors in an interim capacity. The board will establish a process to search for a new president and CEO."

"The board thanks Brian for his service and all of the accomplishments we have made as a team under his leadership," the statement said.

The BeltLine, part of the city's long-term development plan, would encircle the inner portion of the city with parks, residences and businesses.