DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – The general manager of Danville’s David S. Palmer Arena was fired – and the board chairman isn’t happy about it. He disagrees with the board’s decision to terminate Joe Dunagan without telling him first.

“I was just totally blindsided by the whole thing, to be honest with you,” Board Chairman John Spezia said.

Spezia said he didn’t even get a phone call about it until the executive session when the vote took place.

He thinks Dunagan’s termination was politically-motivated. When asked why he thinks that, he said there’s been controversy at the arena and called the termination “collateral damage,” but would not give further details.

Spezia said Dunagan had just received positive evaluations, and couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason the board decided to fire him, but feels it wasn’t fair.

“I’m more upset with how it was done. Joe will survive; he’ll be fine down the road. It’s just how it was done after somebody really spent a lot of time trying to get things back in line with policies and bringing in the right people to work,” he said.

He said the situation is unfortunate but the arena has to keep moving forward. We reached out to several other board members and never heard back. We also reached out to Dunagan to hear his side of the story but he will not comment at this time.

Spezia confirmed Vice Chair Scott Dowers resigned. We reached out to him as well but haven’t heard back.