Former School Police Chief talks about his lawsuit

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The Washoe County School District is facing another lawsuit. This one is from its former police chief Mike Mieras.

Mieras spoke to reporters on Wednesday, one day after filing his lawsuit in District Court against the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent Pedro Martinez. Mieras said he simply wants his job back. "After 50 years growing up in this area, raising my family here and they're raising their families here, I want to move on and return back to the great job we've been doing."

Mieras said he is frustrated, disappointed and confused by his termination last June. School Superintendent Pedro Martinez, who is embroiled in his own lawsuit against the Board of Trustees for wrongful termination, said he let Mieras go due to a "restructuring."

Among other things, Mieras' lawsuit claims he was denied due process and was shorted in his payout of accurred sick leave and retirement benefits. "I was 45 days away from my 20 year milestone with PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) and yes, I think that is problematic for them."

His suit also alleges he was fired in retaliation for reporting "illegal and improper activities" by Martinez and the District Chief Counsel Randy Drake. The lawsuit is vague on what those activities are and neither Mieras nor his attorney, Ellen Winograd, would provide any further details. "Because we are now involved in litigation, I can't really provide any more information on that at this stage."

Mieras and Winograd confirmed they have been in talks with the District's outside legal counsel, Kent Robison. However, Merias said the talks "basically got shut down by Mr. Martinez." Robison was hired to represent the District and its' trustees in the lawsuit filed by Superintendent Martinez. "I don't know if Robison will represent the District in Mieras' lawsuit," Winograd said.

Mieras lawsuit is seperate from Martinez's suit and is on its own path. "The District will have 20 days to respond to our lawsuit," said Winograd.

In the meantime, the Trustees have agreed to offer Martinez a $25,000 settlement. Martinez will have ten days to respond. There is also a mediation hearing set for September 22 before Washoe District Judge David Hardy.

You can read more about the Mieras lawsuit in this electronic filing by the Washoe District Court.
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