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Skeel suit settled; $150,000 award to former GM

By From page A1 | September 19, 2012

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.”

Mike Roberts

Discussion | 7 comments

  • TooncesSeptember 18, 2012 - 10:33 am

    $150,000 is a lot, but I bet his legal fees take a good chunk of that money. Nice job CSD. Way to screw-up. I suppose I'll end up paying for this with higher fees for my kids youth sports programs.

  • ConcernedSeptember 18, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    I've yet to hear anyone on the CSD board take an iota of responsibility for what transpired. Maybe I missed it? Even if Mr. Skeel is as bad as the CSD Board made him out to be (and we all know that isn't the case), the current board still made the decision to hire him, move him to EDH, and abruptly fire him. Incredibly poor judgement, management, and community/employee relations. Based solely on this, I can't and won't ever support any current EDH CSD board members for reelection (Billy V excepted, if he were to run). Our community deserves new representation and I will be extremely disappointed if we don't get it in November.

  • tiverbrookSeptember 19, 2012 - 7:07 am

    I agree with Concerned. Time to stop our CSD from using poor judgement. Bring on the election.

  • TooncesSeptember 19, 2012 - 11:01 am

    Stupid question, but when are they up for reelection?

  • ConcernedSeptember 19, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    2 sitting board members, Noelle.Mattock and Guy Gertsch, are up for election on Nov. 6. That is the time for our community to show our displeasure with their stewardship and begin cleaning house at the CSD.

  • john smithSeptember 20, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    I can't believe Mattock has the nerve to run again. Disgusting!

  • Bill TobinSeptember 21, 2012 - 11:43 am

    As the Co-chair of the planned Veterans Memorial, I had worked with John Skeel on several occasions. From my view he was doing his job well. I firmly believe his dismissal was the result of unrealistic expectations, poor communication, and a lack of basic manager/employee management skills from the board members. I am a candidate for a CSD Director seat. Please visit my website www.tobin4csd.com and come to my meet and greet @ Relish Burger Bar Thursday 9/27 6-8 pm.



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