By Marcy Stamper

The general manager of the Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) has been placed on paid administrative leave so that the utility’s board of commissioners can gather “complete facts” regarding information they received about his conduct, according to board president Scott Vejraska.

John Grubich was initially placed on leave from Aug. 4 through 22. But at the Aug. 21 board meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to extend the leave until Sept. 11.

The extended leave was voted after Vejraska read this statement into the meeting record:

“We have received some information concerning Mr. Grubich’s conduct in his role that causes us significant concern. The extended leave of absence will allow us to gather the complete facts so that we can make a decision regarding the next steps in the best interests of the Okanogan Public Utility District.”

The commissioners also met in an executive session at the end of last week’s meeting. Vejraska said in an interview that he could not provide any additional information at this time.

Don Coppock, the PUD’s director of accounting, finance and administration, is acting as interim general manager. The commissioners’ next board meeting is Sept. 11.

Grubich was hired as general manager at the Okanogan PUD in October 2007, coming from a job as the chief financial officer for the Golden Valley Electric Association in Fairbanks, Alaska. When he joined the PUD, Grubich brought more than 30 years of experience in business, finance and accounting, 20 of them in the electric utility industry.

Grubich has a law degree and an MBA from Gonzaga University and was in-house counsel for six years for a large, privately held corporation in Spokane.

Grubich’s annual salary was increased to $195,458 in May 2016.