Attorneys for the El Dorado Hills Community Services District and John Skeel settled the lawsuit brought by the former general manager over his 2011 firing. The final settlement document was signed on Sept. 11 and released to Village Life on Sept 18.
The settlement awards $150,000 to Skeel, half of which will be covered by the Special District Risk Management Association, which provides insurance-like coverage to special districts against such lawsuits. The other half will be paid by the CSD.
The district also waived any reimbursement claim for repayment of Skeel’s $9,380 moving expenses. Both sides absorbed their legal costs.
The agreement prohibits any further lawsuits from either party over the matter.
The settlement also requires all parties to play nice, prohibiting any disparaging comments and limiting their response to inquiries to variations of “the matter has been resolved or settled.”
With that caveat hanging over his head, CSD Board President Tony Rogozinski limited his reaction to “On behalf of the entire board I’m glad to see this resolved.”
Beyond that guarded enthusiasm, the parties involved have remained mum on the matter, including any discussion of how the SDRMA and the CSD will split the $150,000 award.
Skeel hired on as general manager at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District in July. His family remains in El Dorado Hills.
His tenure in El Dorado Hills began in January 2011 and ended abruptly five-and-a-half months later. He spent the balance of 2011 trying to get his job back. The civil suit, filed in El Dorado County Superior Court in April, alleged breach of contract, fraud, negligence, legal malpractice, infliction of emotional distress and related charges against the district, four of five board members, its lawyers and some of its management.
The SDRMA hired James Ward of Evans, Wieckowski & Ward, LLP, to represent the El Dorado Hills CSD, its board and staff. Ellen Arabian-Lee, of Gurnee & Daniels, LLP, did the heavy lifting for Skeel.
The complaint sought damages from the CSD in excess of $400,000.
The complaint’s narrative of Skeel’s five-month tenure as GM and his fight for reinstatement over the six months that followed is available on Villagelife.com; search for “Skeel.”