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Clark County schools official told to work from home during probe

Updated July 2, 2018 - 7:00 pm

A Clark County School District associate superintendent at the center of an investigation into allegations of discrimination, favoritism and other issues has been told to work from home until the probe is finished, according to an email sent to trustees Friday.

On his last day on the job, former Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky asked Edward Goldman, the head of the Employee Management Relations department, to meet with him in his office, according to the email. The email said Goldman subsequently claimed family and medical leave, a federal protection that ensures employees won’t lose their jobs over long-term absences taken for family or medical reasons.

“Upon receiving this information, Dr. Goldman was informed that at the conclusion of his (leave), he will be assigned to home until the outside investigation is complete,” Skorkowsky wrote in the email. Two school district sources, who declined to be named because of the ongoing investigation, verified the email was authentic.

The Employee Management Relations department will report to Chief Human Resources Officer Andre Long, effective immediately, the email said.

The email did not say what prompted the decision to restrict Goldman to working from home.

Meeting sought

Skorkowsky asked Goldman to come into his office at 10 a.m. that day, according to two district sources familiar with the conversation. When Goldman asked why, Skorkowsky said it would all be discussed then, they said.

Goldman said he needed to have his lawyer, who wasn’t available, according to the sources. When Skorkowsky called him later, Goldman told him he was on family and medical leave.

District spokeswoman Kirsten Searer said in an email that the district cannot comment on individual employee situations and would not confirm whether Goldman is on leave.

But management has the right to make such assignments to employees under state law, Searer said.

Goldman, who has decades of experience in the district and took on a dual role as associate superintendent and chief negotiator in 2011, will still receive the same salary and benefits during any time he works from home, according to the district.

Skorkowsky declined to comment.

Goldman declined to comment on the email or whether he was on family and medical leave, saying that was personal. But he accused Skorkowsky of leaking the information.

“All I’m going to say is that we’ll see him in court,” Goldman said.

Latest in investigation

Issues with the Employee Management Relations department surfaced in April, when former employee Donald Harris leveled a number of accusations against Goldman in a lengthy letter to trustees. Among other things, Harris’ letter painted a picture of a department leader who gained power by collecting and leveraging information about his colleagues and exhibited favoritism in his dealings with employees.

As a result, the letter claimed, Goldman effectively controls the district.

The district later hired an outside party, attorney Robert Freeman, to investigate the allegations. Freeman did not respond to a phone call Monday seeking comment.

Goldman said the letter was full of inaccuracies and outright lies and that he welcomed the investigation. He also noted a prior workplace issue with Harris, stating his accuser wanted him to change the classification of previous leave days from “vacation” to “sick.”

Goldman subsequently resigned his chief negotiator role, a move Skorkowsky announced to trustees at a meeting in late April. The position has not yet been filled.

The Employee Management Relations department will report to chief of staff Jennifer Cupid-McCoy when she assumes her duties July 18, according to the district.

Harris has insisted he wasn’t a disgruntled employee, and he said the information needed to be made public.

“If I can stop this man from hurting anyone else,” Harris told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in April, “that’s what I’m doing.”

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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