According to a statement issued to Mountain House Community Services District directors for the Wednesday, Sept. 12, meeting and shared by Director Celeste Farron, Gordon was “automatically terminated” Aug. 24.
Farron said the statement regarding Gordon, who was hired by a unanimous vote of the board in March 2012, was circulated by the district’s attorney, Daniel Schroeder.
She said the document states: “Effective March 12, 2012, the district employed ML Gordon as its general manager following a recruitment process conducted by the recruiting firm of Peckham & McKenney. Mr. Gordon’s employment with the district was subject to the terms of an employment agreement. Effective Aug. 24, 2012, the employment agreement automatically terminated in accordance with Section 7(d)(3) of the agreement. As a result, there is now a vacancy of the general manager position.”
But according to Director Jim Lamb, Gordon hasn’t vacated the position yet. He said Thursday, Sept. 6, that Schroeder will give the board a legal explanation regarding the matter at the meeting next week.
Lamb said Schroeder is also expected to meet with Gordan, but he didn’t say when such a meeting could take place.
“I don’t think anybody will have the full picture until the (attorney’s) presentation,” Lamb said. “The agenda item could change, depending on the attorney’s meeting with the GM.”
After his hiring, Gordon attended regular board meetings in March, April and May. He went on indefinite sick leave in early June.
Farron said she never asked for details about Gordon’s absence, as it was ostensibly a private issue and he was on a medical leave. She said directors were instructed that it would be unlawful to ask.
To fill his absence, the board appointed Secretary Mimi Duzenski as acting general manager on June 4.
Farron said Schroeder stated in the letter to directors that the district is required to have a general manager. With the position vacant, the district’s staff is seeking direction about how to fill the vacancy, she said the letter stated.
Agenda item 9.1 on the Wednesday meeting agenda reads: “Discussion and direction regarding vacancy of the following position: general manager.”
Farron said the documents the directors received outline several options. One is to exercise the district’s guarantee rights under the agreement with the recruiting firm of Peckham & McKenney, which would have the firm again perform recruiting services for the position of general manager. The cost of that course of action will likely be addressed at the upcoming meeting.
Contacted on Thursday, Director Andy Su said Schroeder advised board members not to discuss the matter before Wednesday’s meeting.
A secretary in Schroeder’s Stockton law office said he was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Lamb said that it’s the board’s wish to resolve the matter.
“Really takes one person to direct the staff,” Lamb said. “Not having him (Gordon), there is a hole in the management. We need somebody in there.”
Board members Bernice King Tingle and Jass Singh couldn’t be reached by phone for comment Thursday.
The board of directors will meet at
7 p.m. Wednesday in the Michael Forbes McGrew Board Room at 230 S. Sterling Drive, Ste. 101.