Education

El Dorado schools chief resigns after second suspected DUI

Jeremy Meyers
Jeremy Meyers El Dorado County Office of Education website

The El Dorado County Board of Education on Monday accepted the resignation of Superintendent Jeremy Meyers, 11 days after his second arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.

The resignation was announced at a special meeting to discuss Meyers’ job status. The terms of his resignation, negotiated between his lawyer and a lawyer for the board, were not released.

“Given the grave concerns of the board and the community regarding Mr. Meyers’ behavior and the impacts to our students, families and community … the board determined on a 5-0 unanimous vote that it was in the best interest of the County Office of Eduction and those we serve to stabilize this organization by accepting Mr. Meyers’ resignation and entering into a confidential resignation agreement,” announced board President John Lane after a closed board session.

The agreement was effective Nov. 14. Lane said the board would fill the position “expediently” and will call another special meeting soon to explore options.

Meyers, 45, had not been to work since his arrest Nov. 5, when he crashed his truck into a utility box about 2 p.m. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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

Meyers did not return calls Monday.

It was the second time in five months Meyers had been arrested on suspicion of DUI. An August conviction record indicates his blood alcohol content was higher than 0.15 percent when he was cited in the previous incident June 9.

Monday marked the second special meeting called by the board since Meyers’ arrest. No action was taken at the first meeting, although residents and education leaders called on Meyers to step down or take a leave of absence.

Because he is an elected official, the Board of Education had no power to remove Meyers unless he was convicted of a felony, was recalled from office, was mentally or physically unable to carry out his duties, or moved out of the jurisdiction, according to the state government code.

Before the announcement of Meyers’ resignation Monday, residents called on the board to take whatever action it could to force the superintendent out, including docking his pay. Former board member Harry Norris suggested the board reduce his salary to $1 a year. Placerville resident Steven Neau said he was willing to lead a recall effort.

“The lesson here is that no one is above the law and the consequences of drunk driving,” said local resident Chris Alarcon. “Nothing is going to drive it home like this right here.”

Meyers was released from jail on $17,500 bond at 4 p.m. Nov. 5, 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.

He was cited on suspicion of 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.

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 drew 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 paid him $7,600 for travel, mileage and expenses.

The El Dorado County Board of Education took no action regarding superintendent Jeremy Meyers in a closed meeting Saturday, to the disappointment of many gathered there who hoped the official would be urged to seek help after an alleged DUI. Here

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert

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