Port of Tampa relieves top executive, but doesn't say why

Published March 1, 2013

TAMPA — A top Tampa Port Authority executive was recently relieved of duty on Feb. 22.

Zelko Kirincich, 53, was the deputy port director of operations and engineering. He was hired in 1996 and his current salary is $209,851. His job was to manage the port's day-to-day operations, its facilities, security and planning and research.

The Tampa Port Authority declined to say why Kirincich was suspended, whether he is still being paid or if he's even still allowed on port property.

Kirincich was relieved of his "managerial and supervisory duties," according to port spokesman Andrew Fobes, who declined to release any other information. Kirincich's name was also removed from the port's leadership hierarchy listed on its website,

Kirincich once served as the Port of Tampa's interim director in 2004 but his hopes of keeping the job ended when he was replaced after a brief but tumultuous period. He fired the port's chief legal counsel and real estate director after complaints from port tenants.

But both executives complained to the Tampa Port Authority's governing board, who bristled at Kirincich's personnel decisions.

Board members voted to replace Kirincich with Bill Starkey, the retired president of GTE of Florida. Kirincich was allowed to stay as deputy port director. The port now has a new CEO, Paul Anderson, who started work at the beginning of the year.

Kirincich could not be reached for comment.