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WCSD Trustee Jeff Church (Photo: Megan Barth for The Nevada Globe)

WCSD Trustee Accuses Board President Of Conspiracy In Sexual Harassment Allegations

Trustee Jeff Church reveals he has a whistleblower who alleges President Beth Smith conspired with two District employees who accused Church of sexual harassment

By Megan Barth, April 11, 2024 4:25 pm

At Tuesday’s Washoe County School District’s (WCSD) monthly meeting, Trustee Jeff Church accused Board President Beth Smith of conspiring against him with two unknown, uninvestigated female whistleblowers who claim that Church had “made then feel uncomfortable” leading to subsequent allegations of sexual harassment after a school board meeting last fall.

Trustee Church maintains that a video proves he was not near the whistleblowers at the time of their alleged harassment, yet the District refuses to review it or provide the exonerating video to the public, nor will the District launch an internal or external investigation to substantiate the whistleblowers’ allegations.

Trustee Jeff Church sits in boardroom at the time whistleblowers contend he sexually harassed them in the parking lot. (Photo provided by Jeff Church)

At Tuesday’s meeting, Trustee Church provided three minutes of public comment in which he, in part, announces that he too has a whistleblower who is willing to come forward, investigated, and who alleges that President Smith and the two unknown, uninvestigated whistleblowers essentially have framed him with their unsubstantiated allegations. He also submitted a 19-page document to support his comments (see below).

The video of his public testimony begins at the 4:06 mark:


As The Globe previously reported, Church filed a Writ of Mandamus on March 1 to compel the District to follow their established sexual harassment policies and Nevada law. Church contends there is a “pattern and a coordinated effort by WCSD to silence and undermine [his] ability to critique WCSD policies effectively.”

WCSD Board President Beth Smith stands with Senator Jacky Rosen (Photo: VoteBethSmith.com)

Without an investigation into the whistleblowers’ allegations, the District, on March 12, approved a $500,000 budget increase to defend the District against Church’s anticipated legal actions.

During the March 12 meeting, Rombardo said the two female whistleblowers filed “good faith” harassment complaints against Trustee Church. Rombardo argued that any external investigation into their complaints, that results in discipline, would be “retaliation.” Rombardo revealed that the “whistleblowers” believe that Church’s lawsuit is an intimidation tactic and they no longer feel safe in the District Administration building.

Rombardo also stressed that an external investigation would be a liability for the District and gave a shout-out to two unions assuring them that the District will stand in contempt of court to protect the two female whistleblowers.

WCSD General Chief Counsel Neil Rombardo (Photo: Megan Barth for The Nevada Globe)

Church’s attorney Luke Busby responded that the WCSD General Counsel Neil Rombardo is “inflating costs” and “mishandling responses” in their continued failure to disclose public records and adhere to the District’s “own established rules and regulations.”

In filing the Petition for a Writ of Mandate, Trustee Church is not pursuing a claim for damages against the WCSD. Instead, the essence of the petition is to compel WCSD to adhere to its own established rules and regulations concerning the conduct of investigations and to ensure the disclosure of public records. This action seeks not financial compensation but the enforcement of procedural integrity and the rightful access to information deemed public under existing statutes, aiming to uphold the principles of good governance and transparency within WCSD. We dispute the necessity of the proposed expenditure amount.

We are concerned that WCSD General Counsel’s litigation tactics are unnecessarily inflating costs, by, for example, filing lengthy motions in response to the petition, seeking to hold a three-day hearing, where no written response from WCSD was required from the Court in response to Trustee Church’s public records petition.

It is also crucial to address the mishandling of responses to public records requests by WCSD’s counsel that led to the petition, highlighted by the withholding of a “public document” from Trustee Church in response to his records request.

The reluctance of district employees to adhere to established protocols for conducting fair investigations has necessitated the filing of the second Petition for Writ of Mandate.

Trustee Church told The Globe, “As a candidate or WCSD Board President, Beth Smith needs to address the whistleblowers’ allegations. This is why we need an investigation.”

Along with Trustee Church, President Smith and Trustees Diane Nicolet and Alex Woodley are up for reelection in November 2024.

This is a developing story…

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