A hired attorney for Washoe County determined last month that Assessor Mike Clark violated government policies when he sent dozens of anonymously authored packets containing allegations of impropriety at high levels of county government.
“It is our opinion that Mr. Clark’s conduct violated the County’s Workplace Violence Policy,” attorney Donald Christensen wrote. “Sending numerous packets to County employees and others … was sufficiently severe, offensive and intimidating to cause [a county employee] to reasonably and actually fear for [their] personal safety and the safety of [their] family and a hostile work environment was created…”
The determination echoed the ruling in June by Judge Richard Glasson who extended for a year a temporary protective order filed by the county against Clark.
Glasson called Clark’s pseudo-anonymous mailings of more than 150 packages to various officials and news media in April “altogether creepy and disturbing.”
Clark is appealing Glasson’s ruling. Clark denied wrongdoing and said the packets contained no threat.
Christensen countered, however, that an overt threat was not necessary to determine Clark violated workplace policies.
“The definition of workplace violence in the policy … does not require that any threat be made or that the alleged perpetrator be violent,” Christensen wrote. “The act of workplace violence that occurred here was the mailing of the packets…”
Clark said he sent the packets, which contained an anonymously written screed critical of various county officials, as well as selected court documents because he said he thought that the public had the right to know the information.
“It backfired,” he said.
Attorney Mark Mausert is vigorously defending Clark. He said Glasson refused to hear evidence as to Clark’s intentions.
“For whatever reason, the Justice Court was intent on excluding evidence of the underlying facts, i.e., the circumstances which ultimately caused Mr. Clark to act – while nonetheless reserving the right to draw conclusions and inferences adverse to the evidence which was excluded,” Mausert wrote in a court document. “Mr. Clark’s freedom of movement and ability to do his job were restricted, e.g., he was initially banned from his workplace and was prohibited from even speaking with his employees.
“His constitutionally protected liberty interest in his reputation has been invaded, i.e., he has been cast as some sort of stalker who engaged in ‘fetishistic’ misconduct,” Mausert continued. “He is an elected official, who intends on running for office again.”
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 in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.