WCSD Board Approve to Buy Out Pedro Martinez's Contract - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

WCSD Board Approve to Buy Out Pedro Martinez's Contract

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Washoe County School Board of Trustees voted Tuesday afternoon to buy out the remainder of Superintendent Pedro Martinez's current contract.

That recommendation was made Monday by Judge David Hardy who decided it would be better if Martinez and the board cut ties.

The final vote was 5-2 with Lisa Ruggerio and Estela Gutierrez both voting no.

"It was the best thing we could do for the school board and for everyone involved," says WCSD Board President Barbara Clark.

Gutierrez adds, "For me it is one big wound. A lot of money and a lot of healing and I don't know if you can put a price on that."

Martinez told Channel 2, "I respect the board's decision to change their leadership and we went into this, I did and I believe they did to bargain in good faith." Martinez will be there for another six weeks.

In July, school board members relieved him of his superintendent duties after a closed-door meeting, then reinstating his pay the next day. In response he filed two lawsuits against the board.

Martinez will remain on the job for at least six weeks, but will be gone before the end of the year.

Late Tuesday afternoon Trustee Dave Aiazzi resigned in the wake of a diagnosis of leukemia. He is scheduled to step down from his post on November 4th, which is Election Day. The board will accept applications for his replacement.

Clark is up for re-election in a few weeks. Gutierrez is not running for re-election in November.

In the end, this entire legal drama could cost taxpayers more than $650,000. Martinez's contract will be paid-out, with salary and benefits for 15 months, that comes to over $527,000. In addition, the district will pay his attorney fees of $80,000. And while we don't know yet what the district will end paying in outside legal fees, the board previously approved $50,000 for that.

To read our previous coverage, go to http://bit.ly/1tCp91g

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