Trina Olsen, the fired former administrator at Hug High School, has reportedly prevailed in her case against the Washoe County School District. An arbitrator’s decision vindicated Olsen in her defense against being fired, she said.
No additional details were provided by Olsen’s attorney.
A public records request was filed today with the school district for a copy of the arbitration decision.
The school district’s public relations team also did not respond Friday to an inquiry about the arbitration.
“Many of our folks were in meetings, and it’s difficult to get a response on a Friday,” said district spokesperson Megan Downs.
Today, the district issued this statement: “The district is reviewing the arbitrator’s decision and will make a determination upon completion of that review.”
The district went to great lengths to fire Olsen, first by ratcheting up charges against her — which Olsen said are inflated, taken out of context, or simply false — and then by taking more than a year to terminate her from the district while continuing to pay her annual salary of about $120,000.
Superintendent Traci Davis fired Olsen in July of this year after the school district did not contact Olsen for months about her case.
The school district’s board of trustees has declined to weigh in on Olsen’s case, saying that it’s a personnel matter that the board is not allowed to be involved with.
Unemployment Claim Approved Despite District Opposition
Olsen also, again, prevailed against the district in filing an unemployment claim after she was fired. The school district twice tried to deny her unemployment.
School district attorney Christopher Reich appealed the state’s decision to award Olsen unemployment.
Reich, with little explanation, sent a letter to to the Nevada department of employment at the end of October claiming the state agency’s Appeals Officer, Angela Klaus, “made errors of fact and errors of law, specifically making findings contrary to the written record and statements of both the claimant and employer at (a hearing), and misapplication of the standards stated (in a Clark County School District case).”
The state, however, disagreed.
“After examining the record, the (Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation Board of Review) declines further review,” wrote board Chair Thomas Susich. “This decision is unanimous.”
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from the school district.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.