The Las Vegas City Schools board was asked to do something it hadn’t done in a while — get involved in the hiring of a district employee.
Superintendent Rick Romero asked the board to consider granting a waiver to his wife, Eloisa, for a teaching position at Paul D. Henry Elementary School.
“There were vacancies in the district, and Mrs. Romero applied for a job like any other candidate looking for work. She was interviewed, and she was one of the top three candidates to come out of the selection process. She was recommended as one of the potential fourth-grade teachers at Paul D. Henry,” Romero said.
He said state law allows for family members of the superintendent to be employed by the district in House Bill 212. However, he said it does require a waiver from the school board.
Romero said that during a work session, member Elaine Luna recommended that the board seek a formal opinion from the district’s attorney, Ramon Vigil of the Cutty Law Firm. He said the majority of the members in that meeting supported Luna’s recommendation.
In a letter, Vigil noted that the waiver would require board approval. Romero told the board he wanted to make perfectly clear that the final paragraph in Vigil’s opinion went on to say an issue that should be considered and addressed by the superintendent and the board related to the employment of the superintendent’s spouse under the waiver is to make certain that supervision of the superintendent’s spouse is assigned to someone other than the superintendent.
“This would include day-to-day supervision and authority to conduct and finalize employment evaluations. All of those matters would be handled at the school site,” Romero said.
Luna said Vigil’s opinion also said that the board could go into executive session if it chose to do so. She said the board must vote on the matter in a public meeting.
“I make that point only so that we would remain transparent in everything we do,” Luna said.
Romero said that he wants all employees to follow the same employment procedure in the district and to meet the same highly qualified standard regardless of the relationship between himself and any other administrator in the school district.
“I believe that transparency will only lead to demonstrate the openness of this administration with this board to do things right,” Romero said.
Board President Patrick Romero said he personally had no problem with the hiring of Eloisa Romero and was sure she was highly qualified for the position. He said the board should make the decision as a group.
Board Secretary Phillip Vigil said he also had no problem in approving the waiver.
“I don’t know how the other board members feel, but I don’t feel the need to go into executive session,” Vigil said.
Member Philip Leger agreed. “I also think we should vote on it right now.”
After Vice President Ramon “Swoops” Montao called for a roll call on the vote for giving Eloisa Romero a waiver, all members voted yes and the waiver was approved unanimously.
“Mrs. Luna pointed out an issue that this administration hopes to become a part of what we represent, and that is transparency — so any questions members of the board have regarding any issues of employment, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Mrs. (LeeEtte) Quintana,” Romero said. “I will go to whatever length, depth or breadth that is necessary to help the board be more aware of, especially personnel issues.”