Martinez Declines School District Offer to Drop Suit

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Washoe County School District

Pedro Martinez

RENO, NV - Washoe County School District's former police chief has filed a lawsuit against the school district and Superintendent Pedro Martinez. In the suit Mike Mieras claims the superintendent fired him in June 2014 because Mieras had incriminating information on the superintendent. KOLO 8 News Now has discovered another lawsuit against Martinez filed in 2013, that alleges Martinez interfered with district contracts targeting one local business in the process.

“I wish it hadn't been necessary,” says former WCSD Police Chief Mike Mieras.

Mieras filed his lawsuit Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at the same time the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees offered superintendent Pedro Martinez $25,000 dollars to drop his suit against them. Martinez has since declined that offer, and a mediation hearing is set for the week of September 22.

Mieras says he's tried to discuss his termination, what he calls the lack of due process with the trustees and the district with no resolution.

In his suit, Mieras claims from 2013 to 2014 he reported a series of improper activities or decisions by Pedro Martinez and the WCSD general council and internal auditor, that involved policy violations, criminal investigations, and compliance issues.

For that Mieras says Martinez fired him.

Mieras claims Martinez never discussed the move with trustees and in the opinion pf Mieras's attorney, Martinez has no authority to fire the police chief.

To add insult to injury, Mieras says Martinez fired him just three months shy of achieving his PERS 20-year milestone.

August 15th, Mieras says Martinez directed Human Resources to deliver Mieras his final pay--cashing out the chief's sick leave--giving Mieras only 25% of his accumulated sick days.

That's just two weeks after Martinez returned from his suspension with the district.

For all of this, Mieras says if he were to prevail in his suit, he has only one request.

“My ultimate goal out of all of this is to truly go back and do the job that I truly love to do,” says Mieras.

The Mieras lawsuit alleges the school police chief reported a series of improper activities by Pedro Martinez.

For that, Mieras says, he was fired.

In a lawsuit filed in February of 2013, a local business alleges Martinez interfered with his relationship with the school district itself.

Back in 2011, Nevada's Legislature allowed Washoe County's School District to reduce its financial reserve requirements for existing bond payments.

The move freed up $75,000,0000, which the district decided to put toward capital improvements to schools.

In 2012, the lawsuit says, the district contracted out with 7 architectural firms to upgrade school locks and other safety projects.

The lawsuit states superintendent “Pedro Martinez was aware of each prospective contractual relationship."

One of those subcontractors was Elkhorn Consulting, which had done work with the district.

In September 2012, the complaint says, defendant Martinez contacted each of the contractors and gave a "directive to immediately cease their contractual relationship with plaintiff" and to "...stop work with plaintiff."

While the lawsuit does not give a reason for Martinez's directive, it does say Martinez ”intended to do harm” to Elkhorn, and that there was ”no privileged or justification for Martinez to interfere.”

According to the suit, his actions cost Elkhorn more than $100,000 dollars in existing contracts, and well beyond that with prospective business contracts.

The district filed a motion to dismiss this case, but that motion was denied in district court.

The case is set for trial in February 2015.

We don't know if this is what Chief Mieras is referring to in his lawsuit, but he says the nuts and bolts of his case will eventually come to light.


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