Washoe School Board member accused of misconduct resigns

A member of the Washoe County school board has resigned amid accusations of misconduct involving a teenager at his private workplace, the school board president said Friday.

Nicholas Smith of Sparks, a political novice who unseated the last president of the school board in his first run for office in 2014, submitted his resignation during a meeting with Board President Angela Taylor and school district legal counsel, Taylor said.

The alleged misconduct did not involve his work as a school board member and did not occur on school property, “but it allegedly involves a high school student,” Taylor said Friday at a hastily called news conference in Reno where she took no questions.

“As a result, the district took immediate steps to prohibit Mr. Smith’s access to the high school and the student,” she said.

There was no immediate indication Smith was the target of any criminal investigation.

Smith works in the restaurant business and owns rental properties in the area.

The Associated Press was not immediately able to reach him for comment on Friday. No one answered when a reporter knocked on the door of the home in Spanish Springs, northeast of Reno, at the address listed on election papers he filed with Nevada’s secretary of state. He did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Smith, 29, was the general manager of a Sizzler restaurant in Sparks in 2014 when he announced his campaign and went on to defeat Board President Barbara Clark. His term was to expire in 2018 in the district that includes the northeast reaches of Sparks, Spanish Springs, Cold Springs and Lemmon Valley.

Taylor said she accepted Smith’s resignation effective immediately and wanted to make it public “in the interest of full transparency” after the district had been informed of the accusations.

Washoe County School District spokeswoman Victoria Campbell said she was not aware of any criminal investigation related to the alleged incident, but that school district police would not be involved because it did not occur on school district property. She declined further comment.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bob Harmon said Friday he was not aware of any related investigation involving his office. Reno and Sparks police did not immediately respond to telephone calls and emails seeking comment.

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