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Home > News > Education > School board approves new investigation into former trustee’s residency

School board approves new investigation into former trustee’s residency

By Bob Conrad
Washoe County School Board meeting Oct. 25, 2021. Image: Eric Marks / This Is Reno.

Former Washoe County School Board Trustee Jacqueline Calvert’s address change will get a second investigation. The board on Tuesday approved a new review by the Gunderson Law Firm.

The school district did not reveal how much it paid for the first investigation. Instead, the district’s spokesperson said This Is Reno should file a public records request to find out.

A private citizen raised the initial concern that Calvert had potentially moved. Calvert changed in 2019 her address on Secretary of State financial disclosure forms to a post office box.

Trustee Joe Rodriguez expressed frustration by the process.

“A mistake occurred,” he said. “In my brief time here, I really want to focus on the kids. I just want to get to work so badly. Further investigation, as [a] trustee said, [is] ‘beating a dead horse.’ It’s like the same three topics. Throwing more money at lawyers is not something I’m behind anymore.”

Trustee Jeff Church, who was critical at the first investigation for not even interviewing Calvert, criticized the Gunderson Law Firm. He called the first report by Gunderson “a waste of money.”

“I’m a ‘no’ if it’s the Gunderson Law Firm. This is absolutely the biggest waste of money I’ve seen since I’ve followed school board issues,” he said. “I do want an investigation. I don’t want the Gunderson Law Firm.”

Church said Calvert, as revealed in the first investigation, reported her residency change to the school district.

“The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing,” he said. “Essentially she was honest. We already know when she moved. We already know she reported it to HR.”

Trustee Beth Smith disagreed.

“To my knowledge no one that was interviewed disputes the accuracy of anything in this report,” she said.

Church reiterated that he was disappointed Calvert wasn’t interviewed as part of the investigation.

WCSD’s legal counsel said the Washoe County District Attorney’s office will not review the case.

“They’re not going to look at this. They’re going to say it’s a civil matter,” attorney Neil Romardo said. “That’s what I think they’ll say.”

The board uninanimoulsy approved the second investigation. Board members said they wanted it finished by year’s end.

They also said they wanted a legal review, to include possible restitution owed by Calvert for “compensation, and any paid benefits such as health insurance, when it is determined that a Trustee does not live in the District they were elected to serve.”

They voted to have the Gunderson Law Firm investigate the matter again — this time to “use a qualified investigator if available.”

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