Statement from Washoe School District:
“In an effort to improve operations and support for schools in the Washoe County School District (WCSD), Superintendent Pedro Martinez has restructured a number of departments in the District. Those departments have already included English Language Learners (ELL), Special Education, the Office of School Performance, and now the WCSD School Police Department.
“Part of the restructuring effort in the School Police Department has included a change in leadership for the department. We would like to thank Mike Mieras for his years of service to the staff and students of the Washoe County School District as Chief of School Police.
“The WCSD and Mike Mieras have committed to continue discussing retirement possibilities while Mr. Mieras is on vacation.”
RENO, NV - Former Washoe County School Police Chief Mike Mieras confirms to KOLO 8 News Now he was released from his duties Friday, June 27, 2014. He is not referring to what happened specifically as being "fired," but he says it happened suddenly.
In a phone conversation, Mieras told KOLO 8 he had worked for the district 20 years and as chief for 12. He says he doesn't know what happened and that this came as a surprise.
He offered this statement:
“I have worked for five different superintendents over a 20-year period and have had an unblemished record. It has always been positive. I am not just disappointed in the decision; I am also hurt. I was not given a reason; I was simply told by superintendent Pedro Martinez in a meeting on Friday that the district is going in a different direction and my services were no longer needed.”
When asked about severance or whether he was working under a contract, Mieras said he has nothing in writing that guarantees him payment beyond last week, and he says he's not free to discuss possible union recourse.
District officials have not offered information about who will replace Mieras full-time, or what the timetable is for that, but Deputy Chief Jason Trevino is filling the post for now. The district has provided a short statement (full text to the right).
School Board Trustee Dave Aiazzi says he and other members of the board were not told what happened, only that it did. He says Superintendent Pedro Martinez has full staffing authority without board approval. School Board President Barbara Clark describes what happened as a retirement, though Mieras says there were no such discussions before Friday, when he was told he was no longer a member of the department. Clark says the termination is not connected to any specific incident.
KOLO 8 News Now continues to look into this.