Oceano services district manager fired with cause

Settlement says Tom Geaslen must pay district back $36,962; reason for termination unknown

clambert@thetribunenews.comApril 16, 2013 

Oceano Community Services District General Manager Tom Geaslen, who has worked for the agency since June 2011, was terminated with cause Tuesday afternoon.

District board member Matthew Guerrero said the board voted 4-1 in closed session to terminate Geaslen’s employment, with board member Karen White dissenting, and then voted unanimously to approve a temporary settlement agreement.

Geaslen agreed to reimburse the district $36,962 by April 24, according to the agreement. The reason for the reimbursement was not disclosed in the agreement, and Guerrero said he couldn’t comment further, nor could he comment on the reason for the termination.

The agreement stipulates that neither district officials nor Geaslen “will discuss the disputes between them, or make any disparaging remarks or comments about the other.”

Geaslen could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

He started with the district as an interim general manager and in March 2012 was made a permanent employee at a base salary of $126,000 a year.

In past months, board members had expressed confidence and support in Geaslen and the work he was doing at the district.

Guerrero said the board will complete a final settlement agreement by April 24, and at its meeting next week it will discuss how to find a successor.

“We’ve got a good staff — they work well together,” Guerrero said. “I think that will make it an attractive place to work. We’ve come a long way in the last two years.”

Geaslen had replaced previous general manager Raffaele Montemurro, who was hired in October 2009 as the district’s fifth general manager in four years, including two interim managers. Montemurro was dismissed without cause May 31, 2011.

According to Geaslen’s contract, if he had been terminated without cause before June 30, he would have received a severance equal to 12 months base salary (or equal to six months salary if terminated after that date). If terminated with cause, he would receive any salary earned but not yet paid and payment for any accrued vacation.

The district provides water, sewer, fire protection and street lighting services to a population of more than 7,200 people.

OCSD temporary settlement agreement with Tom Geaslen

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