Archive for Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey

The Washoe County School System

Posted in Local politics with tags , , , on September 19, 2014 by authorcarloscardoso


The Washoe County School system has recently undergone changes, controversy, scrutiny and bizarre unexplained reversals of decisions and statements by members that leave many unanswered questions. The series of public events began with Superintendant Martinez inexplicably firing Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras, a 20 year veteran of the force and the Chief for the past 12 years. Followed soon thereafter by Washoe County School Board President Barbara Clark announcing the immediate dismissal of Superintendant Martinez in a hastily scheduled press conference after a closed door meeting. The Board came to this decision under the advice of Counsel, even though two members, Trustees Aiazza and Rosenberg had been involved in cases where the State’s Open meeting Law had been invoked to reverse one similar action with significant financial repercussions and the other case was questioned but wasn’t overturned since it was a briefing and not a personnel decision. Barbara Clark quickly back pedaled and said the Superintendant was not terminated but had been relieved of his duties and placed on Administrative Leave with pay but the damage had been done. Trustee Estella Guttierrez, Superintendant Martinez’s only supporter at first claimed that she was not informed or part of the decision only to later reveal that she had been called during the proceedings.

What followed was a WCSD meeting held in the afternoon when most working parents were unable to attend at which the Board was attacked for their decisions by a majority crowd of Hispanic supporters of Superintendant Martinez. The statements in support of Mr. Martinez in essence focused on his unique perspective and qualification to lead because of his Hispanic heritage while claiming the decision to remove him was somehow based on race. That argument on its face was racist in claiming he was better qualified to lead the district because he served as a role model to the minority Hispanic community while calling the Board’s decision racist with no proof whatsoever. This position was echoed by Governor Sandoval’s wife who also spoke of the possible loss of federal funding again based strictly on conjecture and no facts to support her position. Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey also strongly supported Mr. Martinez and went so far as to show his statist position when he called for legislation allowing the appointment of members to the WCSD Board which is a local, duly elected body. This would in essence be allowing the State to control a local body over which it has no jurisdiction.

The Board in the face of all this criticism has backed down and not called for a public meeting to discuss the allegations and circumstances which led them to try and get Mr. Martinez to accept a separation package before the press conference was called to relieve him of his duties supposedly over his being a CPA. Meanwhile the WCSD and School Board members have been sued by Mr. Martinez. The WCSD and School Board members should not give in to intimidation by Mr. Martinez’s lawsuits, his vocal Hispanic supporters and their threats to recall them or the public support of powerful politicians such as the Governor. The public deserves the opportunity to hear what the allegations of wrong doing the Superintendant has been accused of are, and await until the findings of a full and thorough investigation have been completed to ascertain the facts of whether any laws or actions by Mr. Martinez not only warrant his termination but any further legal actions are required in the case of possible criminal actions. The allegations of racism being used so by so many including the Reno Gazette Journal makes one wonder what they are trying to hide by discrediting his detractors.