Skeel suit settled; $150,000 award to former GM
John Skeel has had a good summer. He landed a job in July, taking the reins of the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, and now he has some spending money.
The El Dorado Hills Community Services District has settled a lawsuit filed by its former general manager, agreeing to a settlement “in the neighborhood of $150,000,” according Dennis Timoney of the Special District Risk Management Association, which provides the CSD insurance-like coverage against such lawsuits.
Timoney hired Attorney James Ward of Evans, Wieckowski & Ward, LLP, to represent the CSD, its board and staff.
The full terms are laid out in an as-yet unreleased settlement document, which closes the door on an ugly and expensive chapter of CSD history.
Skeel was abruptly placed on leave in June 2011, after serving about five months as GM. He spent the balance of 2011 trying to get his job back but was fired last December.
The civil suit filed in El Dorado County Superior Court in April 2012 portrayed a litany of frustration, betrayal and grief. It 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 staff.
Skeel’s legal team, Ellen Arabian-Lee and David Daniels of Roseville law firm Gurnee & Daniels LLP, handled Skeel’s side of negotiations.
The complaint’s dozen causes of action sought damages from the CSD “in excess of $400,000” for the remaining two years of Skeel’s contract, plus punitive and exemplary damages “commensurate with each defendant’s wrongful acts,” which must be proven by a jury.
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 the Village Life website, Villagelife.com; search for “Skeel.”