Education

El Dorado County schools chief hasn’t worked since DUI arrest

El Dorado County schools chief Jeremy Meyers
El Dorado County schools chief Jeremy Meyers

El Dorado County schools chief Jeremy Meyers hasn’t returned to work since he was arrested Thursday for allegedly driving drunk for the second time this year, and the county Office of Education does not have an official explanation for his absence.

Meyers, 45, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to the CHP. He was arrested after he crashed his truck into a utility box at about 2 p.m. and was suspected of driving while intoxicated.

It was the second time in five months Meyers was arrested on suspicion of DUI. An August conviction indicates his blood alcohol content was also above 0.15 when he was cited in the previous incident on June 9.

County Office of Education spokeswoman Dina Gentry said Tuesday she doesn’t have any information about when Meyers plans to return to his duties. She had no information on whether he has contacted anyone at the office about his plans. As an elected official, Meyers can set his own hours.

He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The El Dorado County Board of Education called a special meeting Saturday to discuss its legal exposure because of Meyer’s alleged drunken driving cases, but no other action was taken. Because Meyers is an elected official, the board has no power to remove him 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.

The superintendent had been at work prior to the crash, according to county officials. But it is unclear whether Meyers was on the clock when the accident happened.

At the Saturday meeting, residents and education leaders called on Meyers to step down or take a leave of absence. Placerville resident Cris Alarcon said the county superintendent had lost his “moral authority.”

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 and $9,320 in medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits, according to the Office of Education.

The county Office of Education does not provide Meyers a car but pays him a $7,600 annual travel and expense allowance. “The travel and expense allowance is deemed to be reimbursement for mileage and expenditures incurred during the course of employment,” Gentry said in an email.

Meyers was released from jail on $17,500 bond at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. He faces four misdemeanor charges, according to the CHP: 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.

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

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert

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