Elk Grove Water Hires New Counsel With Ties to District General Manager, Colorful Employment Record

The Elk Grove Water District has contracted with
attorney Richard "Ren" Nosky to be their interim
general counsel. | 
June 21, 2018 |

At their monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 20, directors of the Elk Grove Water District approved the hiring of interim legal counsel with nothing if not a colorful background. 

By a 3-0 vote (directors Sophia Scherman and Jeanne Sabin were absent), the directors of the Florin Resources Conservation District, which owns the Elk Grove Water District, voted to hire Richard "Ren" Nosky for a six-month term. Nosky is the principal of the Soquel, California-based Nosky Legal Group, which was formed just six months ago.

During a discussion on the proposed short-term contract, general manager Mark Madison praised Nosky saying his experience in governmental law is well suited to needs of the water district.

"As most of you know, I have worked with Ren in the past, " Madison said. "He is very smart, capable, his experience is substantial. He has been general counsel in Stockton and Santa Clara."

Madison noted he has worked with Nosky and is familiar with his abilities. A search of Nosky's work experience found him to frequently involved in governmental and personal controversies. 

During his time in Stockton, Nosky as city attorney was linked with Madison, was involved in numerous high-profile incidents according to reports in the Stockton Record. As reported in November 2006, courts ruled that a privatization of the City of Stockton's water and sewer operations, in which Nosky and Madison were both involved in, was done illegally. 

At the time, Madison said the privatization saved money for ratepayers while environmental groups contended it led to sewage spills and poorly maintained sewer facilities. At the time of the ruling, the judge in the case said the $600 million contract between Stockton and water conglomerate OMI-Thames "would have significant environmental impacts."

Also while he served as Stockon's city attorney, Nosky was accused of sexual harassment and was found to have defamed a deputy city attorney under his supervision. In the defamation case, Stockton paid $438,846 to settle the case.    

Nosky left Stockton in March 2010 and briefly worked for Downey Brand in their Stockton office. California State Assemblymember and then Stockton City Council Member Susan Eggman commended Nosky, but, according to the Stockton Record said "other council members did not trust him which she said 'made it difficult for him to carry out his job.'"

Nosky's next government job was city attorney in Santa Clara, California. As he did in Stockton, Nosky voluntarily left his employment in December 2016 after two closed-session performance reviews were conducted and it was speculated he was going to be terminated. 

Reporting on that separation, a Santa Clara County-based website called Stand Up For Santa Clara posted commentary painting an unflattering portrait of Nosky. Typical of the comments posted was "This is a welcome development for Santa Clara residents and everyone who believes in transparency and good government. Nosky had a terrible record in these areas as a city attorney. Nosky should have represented the interests of the city and its residents, but rarely did.”

While making the pitch for Nosky, Madison acknowledged his ties with his former co-worker saying "I do consider him a friend on a professional basis."

Although there was little deliberation on Madison's recommendation, the three directors in attendance noted their pleasure with the choice and said the hourly rates quoted by Nosky were reasonable. Nosky will bill ratepayers $250 an hour, $650 for each meeting he attends, and $100 an hour for travel time from Soquel. 

"It looks reasonable, the rates are competitive," director Bob Gray said. "I have no reason to oppose it."






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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Forget O.J.'s Dream Team--we got Hobbs/Nosky!

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