LMUD general manager resigns

Doug Smith, the general manager for the Lassen Municipal Utility District, resigned effective Monday, April 16, according to a report of action taken in closed session from board president Daren Hagata.

Doug Smith, the general manager for the Lassen Municipal Utility District has resigned his position effective Monday, April 17 following an investigation into his performance. The publicly owned utility district has not released any information regarding the cause or scope of the investigation. File photo

Hagata reported the board agreed to pay Smith three months salary and allow him to retain his medical benefits.

Hagata also announced Smith resigned during an active investigation that has not yet been completed.

LMUD’s Board of Directors recently has held several special closed session meetings evaluating Smith’s employment. At its March 17 meeting, while the board reported it would “review initial report from investigator,” the publicly owned utility district has not disclosed any information regarding the nature of the investigation or the reasons for it.

The board also appointed Pat Holley, the district’s assistant general manager as interim general manager and directed staff to prepare a job announcement for the vacant general manager position so it can be “flown” as soon as possible.

The agenda for LMUD’s April 15 meeting included a memo from Eugene B. Chittock, the district’s legal counsel regarding a statement threatening litigation.

Chittock’s memo read: “On April 13, 2021, counsel (Anish Singh of Mastagni Holstedt, A.P.C.) for general Doug Smith reached out to my office to discuss the pending employment matter. During the course of that conversation, it was relayed the Mr. Smith would potentially be willing to resign from his post as general manager on certain terms.

“Ms. Singh relayed that Mr. Smith was prepared to fight/litigate the matter and did not believe there was sufficient cause for termination, but indicated a willingness to enter into negotiations.”

Lassen News’ attempts to reach Smith for comment were unsuccessful by deadline.

LMUD hired Smith as assistant general manager in June 2014, and he succeeded retiring general manager Bill Stewart effective Jan. 1 2016. According to his contract signed at that time, he was to earn $180,000 per year in 2020.

LMUD hired Holley as assistant general manager in March 2017.


**This article was updated to correct a date.