Martinez Speaks Out About Firing

Reported by: Terri Hendry
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Updated: 7/03 10:05 am
Reno, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV)--Washoe County School Superintendent Pedro Martinez talked publically for the first time since abruptly firing School Police Chief Mike Mieras. The News 4 "On Your Side" team asked Martinez several questions. The first was why the silence? Mieras was fired on Friday. Martinez did not explain the dismissal publically until today. He said, "The reason I didn't say anything was out of respect for Mike. He asked us to hold off on talking to the media, the community as well as his staff. It wasn't until the news got leaked and released we were forced to talk."

Martinez said he had been considering a change in the leadership of the School Police Department for about a year. He said he consulted with all the School Board members about this over the course of the year, except one, adding this one Board member has chosen not to meet with him. He said in the last few months, he consulted with the Board President and Vice President. However Martinez noted, "What they didn't know was the specific details of the day I was going to do it." Martinez said in retrospect he might have communicated to the Board members differently. He said, "I'm always looking to improve." 

The Superintendent said he wanted to quell any rumor there was a specific reason for Mieras dismissal. He said, "It's nothing like that. It had nothing to do with incidents that occurred at Sparks Middle School or any other incident." Martinez said he made his decision based on the desire to have a "fresh set of eyes" leading the department. "We have right now more police officers on a per student basis than Clark does and we have a certain mixture of police and school buildings versus patrolmen. I want somebody to look at best practices. I just want to have a fresh look at this,"he said. He added, "I gave this a lot of thought and I didn't feel that our current Chief would give me that type of vision."

We asked the Superintendent if he was surprised by the interest in Mieras dismissal . He said, "I'm completely surprised but I also know that this community is a very close knit community. I have tremendous respect for Mike and the work he's done."

Martinez said he realizes his decision is controversial. He said, "You know, they're seven trustees. I respect everybody's opinion. There's going to be one or two that may disagree on the ultimate decision, but personnel matters are the purview of the Superintendent."
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Here are the most recent story comments.View All

renojim - 7/3/2014 4:25 PM
0 Votes
@LASD, if his name was Paul Smith, instead of Pedro Martinez you would be evacuating your bowels with excitement screaming from the roof top that this was a great decision....

tonysam - 7/3/2014 6:58 AM
1 Vote
"You have NO business" commenting on the situation is what I should have said.

tonysam - 7/3/2014 6:57 AM
1 Vote
I'd suggest you read some of the comments over on Facebook by people, commenting under their real names, who have had bad dealings with Mieras. I never heard complaining at all when Jane Woodburn, an appointee of former sup Heath Morrison's, was also let go because of reorganization. If you don't have a concept of the fact Mieras was an "at-will" employee, you have business commenting about the situation. Martinez can let somebody like him go for any reason or no reason at all. End of story.

LASD1096 - 7/2/2014 10:03 PM
0 Votes
As is said before, this is crap and it stinks like a bowl full of guacamole gone bad. Pedro needs to go back to Vegas, if they will have him, and he should buy a Vote For Pedro shirt. He does not belong in Northern Nevada. Let him take his political bulls**t out of Northern Nevada

tonysam - 7/2/2014 9:04 PM
0 Votes
Trustee Howard Rosenberg needs to understand the concept of "at-will employment" before speaking out and embarrassing himself. He also needs to know that just because somebody doesn't have a letter in his or her file doesn't mean he or she is a good employee, while having discipline taken against you doesn't mean you are a bad one. Public ed is extremely political and a completely different animal from post-secondary ed. Pedro Martinez was well within his rights as superintendent to reorganize the police department and any other department.
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