City of Reno Releases Investigation Report On Former Manager

Dec 27, 2016

The City of Reno has released two investigation reports on misconduct allegations against former City Manager Andrew Clinger, which were made by three female employees. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports that the documents don't show evidence of sexual harassment, but they do highlight an unprofessional work environment.

Credit Alexa Ard

The two documents are here. They're almost a hundred pages long and provide the first look into what happened, although much of their content is redacted.

They include a report from Alice Campos-Mercado, a Reno lawyer who conducted an initial investigation, along with David T. Wall, a retired Las Vegas judge who conducted a follow up.

The initial investigation found that Andrew Clinger did not violate the city's policy against discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. However, the second investigation concluded that initial complaints from two women had merit, while secondary allegations could not be substantiated.

The process took about six months and has cost roughly $235,000.

In an emailed statement, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve thanked the community for its patience and said she believes the report will provide the public with a better understanding of the events leading up to Clinger's departure from the city.

Here's the mayor's full statement:

 

On behalf of the Reno City Council, we appreciate the community’s patience as we’ve worked through this long and difficult process. Given the complexity and ever-changing dynamics of the situation, the process has taken more time than anyone originally anticipated.

 

Before I go any further, I need to make three points.

 

First, the City Council does not and will not tolerate unlawful employment discrimination, harassment or retaliation against employees because of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.

 

Second, the City Council is committed to taking all necessary and appropriate steps to further ensure that City of Reno employees enjoy a professional working environment, and are never the subject of unlawful employment discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

 

Third, the City Council is committed to governmental transparency at all levels of city administration to further promote public trust and accountability.

 

In light of these priorities, the City is releasing the investigation reports of Alice Campos-Mercado, Esq., and Hon. David T. Wall, Ret. concerning allegations of misconduct made against former Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger.

 

The reports are the culmination of two neutral, third party fact-finding investigations that took approximately six months to complete. Due to privacy and other legal concerns, the reports have been redacted to protect witnesses’ names and other identifying information.

 

In the initial investigation, Ms. Mercado interviewed 10 witnesses, including the original three claimants. The initial investigation took four weeks to complete and cost the City $10,626.80.

 

Thereafter, additional retaliation claims surfaced. In response to these new claims, the City Council retained Kamer Zucker Abbott, a top-tier Las Vegas employment law firm, to manage and supervise the follow-up investigation, as well as Hon. David T. Wall, a retired Las Vegas judge, to conduct the investigation into claims of retaliation. Mr. Wall interviewed approximately 24 witnesses. The follow-up investigation took approximately four months to complete and cost the City $225,000.

 

We are relieved that the investigations are complete. In addition, we believe the reports will provide all parties and the general public with a better understanding of the events surrounding Mr. Clinger’s departure from the City.

 

This concludes my statement. Given the fact that this matter has been turned over to the City Attorney’s Office in anticipation of future litigation, please understand and respect the fact that I cannot offer further comment or answer any questions about the reports.

 

Please direct any questions you may have to the City Attorney’s Office.