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Former City Manager Andrew Clinger exonerated

(KOLO)
Published: Dec. 28, 2016 at 6:17 PM PST
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Former Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger did not sexually harass three city employees during his time in office. That’s according to an independent report, commissioned by Reno City Council.

The 100-page report did not skip on behind-the-scenes interworkings of Reno City Hall.

The names of three city employees and anything that might identify them were redacted from the report. However, that doesn’t stop the reader from getting a picture of Clinger, how he operated, what he did and didn’t do, you got along with him, and who didn’t.

The words "high school" were used more than once in this 75-plus page report authored by former retired Clark County Judge David Wall.

They describe the actions, and accusations of accusers, and even city council members as Wall attempted to get to the truth:

Did former Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger sexually harass three city workers?

The allegations surfaced in summer 2016, and an independent attorney was hired to conduct a thorough investigation.

City Attorney Carl Hall says he told Clinger about the allegations once he knew about them.

“Well, early on I told him there was an investigation, and he needed to be careful not to take any adverse action against the complaining party because that could be deemed as retaliation,” says Hall.

That information made an already uncomfortable situation unbearable for the three women who worked for Clinger.

When the outside investigation came up with nothing, and more allegations surfaced, the city council ordered another more extensive report, which is where the Wall report comes from.

Contained in that report, more in-depth interviews with city council members as well as Hall, the mayor and others. A picture of divided opinions on Clinger, his performance and whether he should be retained surfaces.

Councilwoman Naomi Duerr was convinced the harassment occurred because she had talked to the city employees herself. Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus wasn't convinced, but wanted Clinger out because of what she calls his incompetence. Councilman Paul McKenzie didn't care for Clinger's management style.

On the other side, council members Oscar Del Gado, David Bobzien and Neoma Jardon all had positive things to say about Clinger.

Mayor Hillary Schieve believes the city employees wanted Clinger out, and worked together to make that happen. In essence, the Wall report backups the mayor's contention, and exonerates Clinger.

In fall 2016, Clinger signed an exit contract with the city, receiving severance, among other things, and an agreement not to sue the city.

The same, however, cannot be said about the 3 city employees. Despite the report, they can sue the city for what they say they experienced under Andrew Clinger’s supervision.

Hall says much has been learned from this incident, and we should expect some changes in the city’s policies and procedures as a result.

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