Judge Recommends Pedro Martinez and WCSD Part Ways
After a full day of mediation between the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Pedro Martinez, Second Judicial District Court Judge David Hardy issued a recommendation that the district buy-out the remainder of Martinez's contract so the two sides can part ways.
In his decision, Judge Hardy states that while the "Board of Trustees regrets the misunderstanding that led to the events of July 22, 2014" when the board relieved Martinez from his duties, "the Board and Mr. Martinez have determined that the present circumstances make it impossible for the Board and Mr. Martinez to move forward through the spirit of mutual cooperation. Both parties therefore agree that it is in the best interest of everyone, including students, parents and school district employees, that the Board exercise it's right to purchase the balance of Mr. Martinez's employment contract."
Action on that recommendation is on the agenda for Tuesday's regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting.
At that meeting, per Judge Hardy's recommendation, the Board is expected to give Martinez notice that his employment will end on December 22, 2014, however, the board can set a final work date for Martinez sooner than that, but no less than six weeks from Tuesday.
According to the court document, the amount of the buy-out will be based on the terms set forth in Martinez's employment contract and be for the amount of the 15-months of salary and benefits that he would have earned if he worked through the contract end on December 15, 2015.
In exchange, according to the court documents, Martinez agrees to dismiss his lawsuit as long as the Board approves paying Martinez's $80,000 legal fees.
Both parties agreed that they will not disparage or malign one another. He also barred both sides from talking to the media until after the matter is resolved at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Channel 2 News will be at that meeting at 2:00pm Tuesday and will have a full report Tuesday night on Channel 2 News.
Pursuant to a mediated resolution, this Court recommends the following material terms for approval by the Board of Trustees in open public session.
The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees regrets the misunderstanding that led to the events of July 22, 2014. The question of Superintendent Martinez' status as a certified public accountant did not constitute a material breach of Mr. Martinez' employment contract. The Board is not presently aware of any conduct that would support a "for cause" termination of Mr. Martinez' contract.
Nonetheless, the Board and Mr. Martinez have determined that the present circumstances make it impossible for the Board and Mr. Martinez to move forward in a spirit of mutual cooperation. Both parties therefore agree that it is the best interests of everyone, including students, parents, and school district employees, that the Board exercise its right to purchase the balance of Mr. Martinez' employment contract.
The Board will give notice to Superintendent Martinez, if approved at tomorrow's public meeting, that his employment contract will end on Friday, December 22, 2014. Mr. Martinez is available and willing to work until that date. However, the Board will determine Mr. Martinez' last day of actual work, which shall be no less than six weeks from September 23, 2014. The board shall pay a pre-determined value for Mr. Martinez' contract, the formula for which is set forth in Mr. Martinez' employment contract. In general terms, the value is 15 months of salary and benefits that he would earn or otherwise be entitled to if he worked until December 22, 2015. Superintendent Martinez waives notice under the terms of his contract and Nevada Open Meeting Law.
Superintendent Martinez agrees to dismiss his complaint in CV14-01617 with prejudice, if the Board approves the payment of his attorneys' fees in the amount of $80,000. Each party releases the other from all claims based on or arising out of the complain, or Mr. Martinez' employment, whether asserted or not asserted, known or unknown, but Mr. Martinez does not release the Washoe County School District from any rights of indemnity or coverage under any insurance policies for any claims that may be asserted against Mr. Martinez based on or arising out of his employment.
At Mr. Martinez' option, to be exercised prior to December 22, 2014, Mr. Martinez shall have the right to receive up to $200,000 of his severance in advance for purposes of depositing it in a PERS retirement account, if permitted by PERS; and otherwise Mr. Martinez shall be paid his severance on the dates that he would receive his compensation if he were working.
Judge David Hardy shall retain jurisdiction to interpret and enforce the terms of this settlement, to include imposition of sanctions and attorneys' fees, if appropriate.
The parties agree that they will not disparage or malign one another with respect to any matter relating to their employment or service, their professionalism, ethics, work ethics, character, or integrity.