Crime - Sacto 911

Second suspected DUI lands El Dorado County schools chief in jail

Jeremy Meyers
Jeremy Meyers El Dorado County Office of Education website

El Dorado County schools chief Jeremy Meyers was arrested Thursday for the second time in five months for allegedly driving under the influence, this time after he crashed his truck into a utility box at 2 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Meyers, 45, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or more, a threshold approaching twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to the CHP. Authorities did not provide his exact blood alcohol level.

The latest arrest prompted the El Dorado County Board of Education to call a rare Saturday meeting to discuss the county Office of Education’s legal exposure because of Meyers’ alleged drunken driving cases. As an elected official, he can be removed from office in a limited number of circumstances that include recall or conviction of a felony. His latest charges are misdemeanor crimes.

Meyers worked Thursday, but it was unclear whether he was on the clock when the accident happened.

“As an elected official, he sets his own calendar and hours,” said Dina Gentry, spokeswoman for the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Meyers was driving a white 2013 Dodge Ram westbound on Green Valley Road at Mortara Circle when his car veered off the road and struck a large utility box, according to the CHP. He was the only occupant and was not injured. He was driving his personal vehicle, according to Gentry.

County board member Rich Fischer of South Lake Tahoe said Meyers had been at a meeting of county superintendents about midday. “I know he was there, and there were agenda items on the agenda he covered,” he said.

On Meyers allegedly driving with a blood alcohol level of at least 0.15 percent, Fischer said, “Anyone would have a concern about that.”

In the previous instance, Meyers was cited June 9 for driving under the influence and convicted in August. He received a five-day alternative sentence, which he served as house arrest, and paid a fine.

Meyers was appointed superintendent of the El Dorado County Office of Education in 2013 to complete the term of Vicki Barber, who retired. He was unopposed in the 2014 election and won a four-year term.

He currently draws a $196,837 annual salary, according to the Office of Education.

The El Dorado County Office of Education provides financial oversight for the county’s 15 school districts. It also provides payroll, printing and other administrative services on a contract basis to many of the districts. The office directly serves more than 400 students in charter, special education and adult education programs.

Before being appointed superintendent, Meyers was assistant superintendent of educational services at the El Dorado County Office of Education. He also served as associate superintendent of Black Oak Mine Unified School District and principal of Golden Sierra High School.

Meyers was released from jail on $17,500 bond at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. He did not return messages Friday.

In a statement, the El Dorado County Office of Education said, “While unfortunate, we will continue to work together and deliver high-quality support to our county-wide programs, school districts and community.”

Meyers faces four misdemeanor charges, according to the CHP. Those include driving under the influence of alcohol; driving with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent; driving with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.15 percent; and violation of court-ordered probation.

The board won’t be able to remove Meyers from his elected position unless he is convicted of a felony, is recalled from office, is mentally or physically unable to carry out his duties or moves out of the jurisdiction, according to the state Government Code.

“As far as the Elections Department is concerned, the only way would be through a recall procedure,” said William Schultz, El Dorado County registrar of voters.

In the June incident at Highway 49 and Marshall Road near Coloma, Meyers was in his vehicle lined up with other traffic at a construction stop for Highway 49 paving. When traffic was waved forward, Meyers did not move, either because he fell asleep or was inattentive, according to a CHP spokesman. An officer made contact with him and suspected he was under the influence of alcohol.

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert