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News: 02/01/2019

Former OVA president files lawsuit

A former president of the Oakmont Village Association’s board of directors has filed a lawsuit against the Oakmont Village Association (OVA), its former manager, and another former member of the board.

The suit, filed Nov. 30 in Sonoma County Superior Court, by former board president Ken Heyman and his wife, is alleging a number of causes of action, including breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and breach of contract.

The suit names as defendants the OVA, Andie Altman (the former board member), and Cassie Turner (the former OVA manager).

OVA officials, Altman and Turner declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Heyman served as president of the OVA’s board of directors, but resigned in January of 2018.

The suit weaves a set of assertions and allegations with regard to a time period when Oakmont was embroiled in a number of governance and management controversies. Much of the vitriol surrounded the approval for constructing pickleball courts by one set of OVA board members, a decision that was rescinded by a subsequent board.

The debate resulted in lots of hard feelings, amped up by social media and resulting over time in the resignation of a number of board members and some OVA staff, including Turner, who openly criticized the operations of the board at the time.

Things reached a low point in August of 2017 when then board president Heyman found the severed head of a rat in a paper bag on his doorstep – on the bag was written “You Next.” Heyman resigned from the board some five months later.

Charges in the lawsuit pertain to a number of things, including the employment contract for Turner approved before Heyman joined the board, allegations of defamatory attacks on Heyman, misconduct, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty by the OVA board regarding actions by Turner when she was manager. Heyman also alleges that the OVA board is liable for breach of contract because it failed to ensure he was free from a hostile work environment.

Heyman and his wife are asking for an unspecified amount of general, special, and punitive damages.

A case management conference with a Superior Court judge is scheduled for April 2.

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