RENO, NV - With the start of the school year less than two weeks away, School Superintendent Pedro Martinez was back on the job Friday after being asked to return by the board that sent him home barely 10 days ago.
In that ten days, the board heard protests from the public and Martinez sued them for breach of contract and open meeting violations.
It all began when members of the school board learned he did not have the Certified Public Accountant credentials as he had claimed.
Attorney Kent Robison, hired to defend the board, says the trustees suggested that the matter should be aired in a public meeting.
Martinez, he says, became agitated, offered to resign, demanding the $238 thousand dollars severance called for in his contract.
"Efforts were made to talk about that, discuss that and it became increasingly uncomfortable for everybody and emotional," says Robison. "At one point later in the day the superintendent walked out."
That left the board concerned about the rising conflict and its effect on staff, he says.
And that apparently led them to relieve him of his duties.
When questions arose about open meeting law violations, the board reversed themselves, invited him back, but scheduled a public hearing on his job performance.
So, after all of this can the board and its superintendent still work together?
"I'm going to do my part, " says Martinez. "It takes two parties but I'm going to do my part."
But, he says, his lawsuit will go forward.
"I have to do that to protect my rights."
Board members aren't talking, but Robison says whatever happens will be done right.
"I'm not elected to make those decisions, but whatever is done will be done as ethically and professionally as possible."
School starts on August 11. The hearing on Martinez' job performance is scheduled for the 15th.