Scott Kelley today sent a statement to the Reno Gazette Journal announcing his plan to resign. He blamed This Is Reno.
“The decision by ThisIsReno to publicize my divorce and compromise my family’s privacy makes resignation the best resolution under the circumstances,” he said. “The current political climate makes it impossible for me to be viewed as innocent until proven guilty.
“My name will remain on the ballot in November and I’m hopeful my constituents in District A will consider the facts and circumstances surrounding disclosure of the false and inflammatory allegations when casting their vote.”
Kelley has not provided This Is Reno with any comment, other than a threat of legal action, about allegations he is facing. Nor has he provided what he is calling facts.
He first ignored a dozen questions sent to him Friday, then said Sunday he needed more time. He asked for a deadline of 6 p.m. Monday. He then he said he needed until this Friday to answer the questions.
On Tuesday, rather than respond to the questions, he said, “if you publish any libelous or slanderous content about myself or my family, I will pursue my full legal recourse.”
Open source records show Kelley regularly dismissed critics, banned them from commenting and was even kicked out of the Empower Nevada Teachers Facebook group for “disgusting” comments and “bashing teachers.”
He complained to a dean at the University of Nevada, Reno about an education professor who was openly critical of Kelley’s online behavior and his decision to support reopening schools. Many cited this as evidence of school district retaliation.
Kelley later apologized. He said he was upset at being called a bigot because he said he was Jewish.
Kelley’s attorney admitted he operated fake social media accounts, one of which was associated with him and was used to defend Kelley and the school district while regularly attacking critics and the media.
Since the original report, numerous people contacted This Is Reno with similar stories of Kelley’s behavior. One of his constituents said she reached out to him for help on an issue.
“He got angry and rude, and turned into a bully and incredibly aggressive,” the person wrote. “I had to stop the interaction because of how quickly he escalated.”
A petition seeking his resignation was launched yesterday.
“He retaliated against constituents who disagreed with him and spoke out about his voting record by calling their direct supervisors at their place of employment to discipline them,” the petition noted.
Washoe County School Board Chair Malena Raymond tonight said she is asking for Trustee Scott Kelley’s resignation. Kelley has been under fire since This Is Reno reported yesterday serious allegations against Kelley, as revealed in court documents. Many have come forward expressing concerns about Kelley’s behavior over the years.
A petition was launched today seeking Kelley’s ouster from the school board.
Raymond gave Kelley until tomorrow morning to resign. Her complete statement is below.
Following recent revelations regarding Trustee Scott Kelley’s personal life, late this afternoon Vice President Dr. Angela Taylor and I met with Trustee Kelley. In that meeting, we asked Trustee Kelley to resign from the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees.
Following conversations with the other Trustees individually, it became clear to me that in the best interests of the Washoe County School District, Trustee Kelley should immediately resign. I want to make it clear that I did not poll the Board of Trustees nor did I take an informal vote. This is not a decision I take lightly. However, his actions clearly lack integrity and call into question his trustworthiness. In my professional experience working for a domestic violence organization, I find some of his behaviors worrisome and inappropriate for someone entrusted with decisions that impact the well-being of the students and staff of the Washoe County School District.
If Trustee Kelley chooses not to resign before 8 a.m. on Thursday, August 27, I will call for a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, September 3 at 4 p.m. to discuss next steps.
Kelley threatened legal action against This Is Reno should we write anything he considered slanderous or libelous. He still has not responded to a dozen questions about allegations he is facing. His social media accounts were deactivated today.
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 research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.