The chief takes a walk: Allegations focused on former Chief Lacher
It’s been a tough few years for the El Dorado County Fire District as it has struggled with shocking financial disclosures, sexual harassment lawsuits, a fire chief who left after a vote of no confidence, and a board of directors that was surprised to learn of the large deficit.
With the latitude given to EDCFD Chief Bruce Lacher, it took his departure, along with the board being told the district was $1.6 million in the red, for reality to sink in.
Ignoring the warning signals
According to different parties, there were plenty of alarms going off at EDCFD of impending problems, although few in the district seemed to be paying attention.
The alarms came in the form of employee lawsuits and complaints, a new board member questioning the district’s finances, and a big decline in the district’s main source of revenue — property taxes.
One source of the district’s difficulties were claims of sexual harassment, bias and financial abuses by accounting technician Sheryl Calfee, who has worked for the district since 2005.
Lacher referred to Calfee as the “gum on the bottom of his shoe” after he was forced to investigate her complaint of sexual harassment by one of his battalion chiefs. Once ...