A total of three members of the Alberta Health Services board have resigned in the wake of the dismissal of CEO Stephen Duckett.

Tony Franceschini, Gord Bontje and Linda Hohol have all stepped down from the board to protest Duckett’s removal from the job.

“We need to judge his performance, not his behaviour with the cookie,” said Bontje.

“I believe in the principle of board independence,” said Franceschini. “This principle has been compromised so I have chosen to resign.”

Bontje agreed, saying Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky should not have weighed in on the decision to get rid of Duckett.

“He can state his opinion, but I don’t think he had any business whatsoever contacting the board. Totally inappropriate.”

He said Duckett was heading in the right direction and he wasn’t given enough time to do his job.

Hohol, a member of the board from Calgary, said Duckett’s departure is “the unfortunate consequence of an environment which will limit any CEO or board’s chances for success.”

Dr. Chris Eagle has been appointed to take over from Duckett until a permanent replacement can be found.

Zwozdesky said he will not be involved in finding that replacement.