Private club executive at Snowmass cited for harassing text messages

A manager within the Aspen Skiing Co. is facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly harassing a former co-worker at the Roaring Fork Club and threatening to prevent him from working in the private club industry.

Greg DeRosa, who is the project manager at Skico’s new private, membership-only Snowmass Mountain Club, was issued a citation by Basalt police Sept. 3. He appeared in municipal court Nov. 2 and the case has been continued until next month.

DeRosa, who lives in Carbondale, did not return calls and messages seeking comment.

The charges stem from a report made by the alleged victim, Vincent Russo, who worked with DeRosa at the Roaring Fork Club over two years ago, according to a police report filed by Basalt Officer Aaron Munch.

Russo told Munch that DeRosa was texting him Aug. 29 of this year, saying that he was going to prevent Russo from finding a job.

He provided a string of text messages from DeRosa to police; The Aspen Times obtained the texts.

They read in part (with expletives deleted), “Hey sh–bag I just took you out of the running at Windermere (sic)…I know lots of people in this business and they respect the hell outta my opinion…told the truth…yer a piece of sh–drunk! Have a nice life a–hole!”

(Wyndemere Country Club is in Florida.)

Russo then responds, “Ok, who is this?”

DeRosa writes back, “Your worst nightmare for finding a job at another private club.”

Russo says, “Your not worth my time Greg.”

To which DeRosa responds, “Don’t worry now that I know you’re looking the word will spread fast regarding what you really are and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it because it’s true. Have a drink on me a–hole!!”

According to the police report, Russo stated DeRosa blames him for the loss of his employment from the Roaring Fork Club.

In his report, Munch referenced a portion of a text that shows DeRosa says he was let go by the Roaring Fork Club board of directors in 2016.

Russo, the club’s former executive chef, told the Times last week that DeRosa, who was the general manager and his former colleague, learned he was looking for a job and then intervened.

“I interviewed with a club in Florida and he caught wind of it,” Russo said last week. “He was messing up my livelihood and tried to blackball me.”

Russo said he felt intimidated enough to go the police.

“He’s well-connected and you never know if they are going to take his word for it,” Russo said.

He now works at a private club in Carmel, California.

DeRosa, who didn’t return three voicemails left on his cellphone and his office line at Skico, has worked for the company since February 2017.

Russo said DeRosa reached out to him after he was served the summons.

“He told me he wasn’t out to get me and can we meet for a cup of coffee and put this to rest,” Russo said.

Russo doesn’t plan on doing that. He has retained Aspen attorney Daniel Becnel and plans to sue DeRosa in civil court for defamation.

Becnel confirmed that this week. He added that he is waiting for the criminal case to conclude before filing the civil lawsuit.

“We are preparing for tortious interference against Mr. DeRosa for his actions toward Mr. Russo’s future employment,” Becnel said Monday, adding the text messages crossed the line. “You don’t think of someone who does these types of things.”

Officer Munch wrote in his report that the things said in the texts were “disturbing” and “crossed the line.”

The report provides some insight into DeRosa’s alleged motivations.

“DeRosa stated he was upset with Russo talking about him for a long time to many people in public,” Munch’s report reads.

DeRosa is working to open the exclusive Snowmass Mountain Club this winter as part of the new Base Village.

Skico offered a limited statement about DeRosa and the harassment charge against him.

“While this activity took place outside of our workplace, we are aware and engaged and managing our employees,” reads a statement issued by Jeff Hanle, Skico’s vice president of communications. “We do not comment on personnel matters nor will we discuss ongoing litigation.”

Basalt Town Attorney Jeff Conklin said Tuesday he has been in conversations with DeRosa regarding a plea deal.

DeRosa is scheduled to appear in Basalt municipal court Dec. 7.

Editor’s note: This has story has been updated to reflect DeRosa was issued a citation.