RENO, NV - Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez is going back to work on Friday. Martinez has been on paid administrative leave since July 22nd. On Thursday his attorney received a letter from the Board of Trustees expecting him to "return to work and fulfill his responsibilities and duties immediately."
"It came as a shock but I've been in shock since July 22nd," Martinez said. "I would never have guessed any of these events would have occurred and sadly they didn't need to occur. That's why I'm hoping we can move forward and let's see how we can work together."
Thursday's letter from the Board states, "we have agreed that last week's events are void. Superintendent Martinez was never terminated or fired as Superintendent of the Washoe County School District."
Martinez has filed a lawsuit against the school district claiming breach of contract and violation of the open meeting law.
"My lawsuit will continue because we're not going to give up our rights about the breach of contract and the violation of open meeting laws," Martinez said. "Even though it seems from the correspondence they're aware all those actions were illegal. This is not about money or trying to make a gain. I love this district and I would never want to do anything that would hurt it. At the same time, there were rights that were violated and I feel I owe it to myself and my family and hopefully the community will understand."
He says he's looking forward to coming back.
"More than anything else, to be able to see my staff," Martinez said. "And Friday is a big day because it's all my principals and directors meeting, then we're a week away from school and I can't wait to start the first day of school"
There's been an outpouring of support from the community since the news came out last week. Hundreds of people have gathered at meetings and round tables to voice their support of Martinez.
"I'm so touched by the support of the community," Martinez said. "I was just talking to the first lady, Kathleen Sandoval, telling her how honored I was she would be willing to speak on my behalf in front of the school board."
Martinez says he hopes to continue his work here.
"I'm going to strive to work with our board, I'm going to try and stay here. We love this community, we have two children that were born here, we have a vested interest. There are a lot of programs we started that I want to make sure are implemented and executed well."
The Board is trying to schedule a Public Board of Trustees Meeting for August 15th to address Martinez's contract and performance. According to Thursday's statement from the Board, "we are hopeful that Superintendent Martinez's future communications and interactions with the Board be more cordial and civility can be restored."