Ever since former CEO Beau Goldie slid into retirement in January, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has mostly flowed under the radar. But the legendary ’Spigot—responsible for 1.9 million people’s drinking water—never really runs dry on juicy stories. Last Friday, interim CEO Norma Camacho canned the district’s chief administrative officer, Jesus Nava. This was no small decision. Nava oversaw HR, union negotiations, finance, security, aspects of water utility and watersheds, and the public agency’s internship program. That last task became a frequent water cooler topic, as Nava apparently had a reputation as a “skirt chaser,” according to multiple sources at the District. In one peculiar action, he reportedly had a window installed in the cubicle next to his office to better keep an eye on employee comings and goings. Despite rumblings of harassment complaints, none apparently resulted in any discipline. That could be because the District has still not hired a new director for the Office of Ethics and Corporate Governance since LeeAnn Pelham’s resignation in the spring of 2015—she was reportedly fed up with Goldie’s interference. But the main reason for Nava’s exit, according to sources, was his inability to get along with Camacho, who was picked as interim CEO over Nava, an at-will employee. Camacho’s move allows her to continue to distance herself from the good-old-boys environment under Goldie’s watch—he did, after all, hire Nava four years ago. Reached by phone Tuesday, Nava disputed that his interactions with female colleagues had anything to do with his departure from the District, noting that he “didn’t know” if he was fired but was certain he had no documented discipline or performance-related issues. He tried to spin the parting as a “mutual agreement” but didn’t have much to say when asked why he’d give up a $220,000 annual salary.
Bonus Note: Remember that whole conflict of interest scandal involving RMC, which included smoking gun emails by top staff admitting that former CEO Beau Goldie violated district rules? The board has still not hired an auditor almost a year after it vowed to thoroughly vet all RMC business and billing.