Donner Summit utility district sues Grimm, Donner Ski Ranch | SierraSun.com

Donner Summit utility district sues Grimm, Donner Ski Ranch

Renee Shadforth

The Donner Summit Public Utility District has brought a lawsuit against its former general manager and embezzlement suspect Steven Grimm.

Donner Ski Ranch Inc., Donner Spitz Inn and Donner Summit Tramways Inc. – all companies where Grimm was an officer and Norm Sayler is the principal – are also defendants in the civil case.

The bulk of the embezzled funds were funneled into the three companies, according to Nevada County Sheriff’s investigators.

The amount of the suit has not been determined pending investigation of transaction records and bank statements.

According to attorneys representing the district and Sayler, Grimm has been “uncooperative” in presenting documentation needed for the investigation.

“[Grimm’s] civil attorney has indicated continually that Mr. Grimm wants to cooperate, but he won’t submit a deposition or the documents we need for the investigation,” said Geoffrey Evers, the utility district’s attorney.

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Evers said investigators were locked out of district accounting information in Grimm’s desk and on hard drives at the utility district.

Calls to Grimm’s civil and criminal attorneys were not returned.

According to Robert Tamietti, who is representing Sayler in the civil matter, no one at the three businesses knew about the alleged embezzlement.

In fact, he said, Grimm was the agent for service of process for the companies and received the notices to appear for the investigation.

“Mr. Grimm gets served (the notices to appear) on behalf of the three organizations and didn’t tell anybody,” Tamietti said. “Mr. Sayler heard through the grapevine that he had to be in court in two days.”

Grimm is also the subject of a criminal investigation. Earlier this month, Grimm pleaded innocent to charges that he embezzled approximately $300,000 from the utility district from 2000 to 2002. He is also under investigation for credit card fraud and forgery.

Grimm’s criminal lawyer, Dale Wood, met with prosecutors Tuesday for a felony conference and to set a preliminary hearing date.