Washoe County School District Hires Outside Counsel - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Washoe County School District Hires Outside Counsel

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Nearly ever seat was packed for this afternoon's Washoe County School Board meeting. And again, community members there had some pretty strong words for the Trustees.

"I want the six of you involved in this to resign. And I want you to apologize to Pedro (Martinez) and to the public!" said Leslie Mix.

"Is this really a fight worth fighting?" asked Karen Swope. "This is money that could be spent on books and on programs and on technology for kids who don't have it."

"You say you want things to be right, you want things to go well and you want to get passed this but your actions don't say that," said Teresa Navarro.

Kent Robison made a presentation on what his firm would argue and what the realities of hiring outside counsel would involve. And after a half hour of discussing the possibility just trusting each other and dropping the suits, the board voted in favor of hiring the outside counsel. The motion was made by Board President Barbara Clark and seconded by Trustee Howard Rosenberg. And all of the trustees except Estela Gutierrez voted for the move. 

"I can't possibly vote for something that we don't even have a hard budget on," Gutierrez said. "We are spending money and we don't even really know how much it will be." 

Trustees can spend up to $50,000 on legal fees before having to take the issue to the public.

Meantime, two more legal moves were filed with the Washoe District Court in the case. Superintendent Pedro Martinez's attorney filed 63 pages of points opposing additional time for the District to prepare for court. That brief also involved evidence to his credit including his favorable evaluation from the trustees.

Kent Robison, on behalf of the District filed a four page brief withdrawing its request for that additional time and outlining harsh allegations including that Martinez asked for his contract to be bought out and that he threatened the board by saying he would take the issue to Governor Sandoval.

The board says it will set a meeting to take action in the dispute before September 9th.

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