United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff Anthony Russo's
(“plaintiff”) motion for partial summary
judgment. (ECF No. 69). Defendants Clark County
School District (“CCSD”), Edward Goldman
(“Goldman”), and James Ketsaa
“defendants”) filed a response (ECF No. 78), to
which plaintiff replied (ECF No. 81).
before the court is defendants' motion for summary
judgment. (ECF No. 72). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No.
75), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 82).
brought the instant civil action under the Due Process Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF
No. 49 at 1). Plaintiff seeks damages against defendants for
allegedly depriving plaintiff of his due process right to a
hearing before being suspended and terminated. (ECF No. 49 at
is employed by defendants as a police officer with CCSD
Police Department. (ECF No. 69 at 2). Police Officers
Association of CCSD (hereafter “POA”) is a
bargaining agent for all regular status employees. (ECF No.
69 at 2). Plaintiff is a regular status employee. (ECF No. 69
at 2). Under Article 35-1 of the collective bargaining
agreement (“CBA”) between POA and CCSD, “a
Regular Status Employee may be suspended, demoted or
dismissed for just cause.” (ECF No. 69 at 2).
September 5, 2015, plaintiff was involved in a car accident
with a teenaged driver while off-duty. (ECF No. 72 at 3).
After the collision, plaintiff exited his vehicle, walked
over to the passenger side of the other vehicle, and began
punching the teenaged passenger in the head. (ECF No. 72 at
4). Bystanders attempted to pull plaintiff off the teenager.
Id. Plaintiff then pulled out his gun. Plaintiff was
arrested for suspicion of DUI, possession of a gun under the
influence, drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner,
two counts of battery, and failure to obey a traffic signal.
(ECF No. 69 at 3).
September 9, 2015, plaintiff met with defendant Ketsaa for
ten minutes, where he was provided oral notice of the charges
against him. (No. 72-1 at 55). After the meeting, plaintiff
received a letter from defendant Ketsaa pursuant to Article
35-7 of the CBA between POA and CCSD. (ECF No. 72-1 at 55).
The letter informed plaintiff that an administrative
investigation was being conducted regarding plaintiff's
arrest. (ECF No. 72-1 at 55). The letter provided notice to
plaintiff that he was indefinitely suspended without pay
pending the outcome of the investigation. (ECF No. 69 at 3).
September 9, 2015, CCSD also provided plaintiff with a
“notification of possible disciplinary action.”
(ECF No. 72-1 at 57). This letter notified plaintiff of an
upcoming interview in which plaintiff was entitled to have
two representatives. The representatives could be lawyers,
labor union representatives, or other peace officers. (ECF
No. 72-1 at 57).
September 18, 2015, plaintiff received a letter scheduling an
“administrative interview” for September 29,
2015. (ECF No. 72-1 at 60). The letter again notified
plaintiff of the charges against him as well as his
entitlement to representation. (ECF No. 72-1 at 60).
hour-long investigatory interview was conducted on September
29, 2015. (ECF No. 75-2 at 3-4). Plaintiff's attorney was
present. (ECF No. 75-2 at 3). Plaintiff was provided oral
notice of the charges against him and the evidence then
existing against him. (ECF No. 75-2 at 3).
November 5, 2015, plaintiff was convicted of DUI and one
count of battery. (ECF No. 72-1 at 112). The remaining
charges were dropped. (ECF No. 69 at 3).
November 17, 2015, CCSD sent plaintiff a “notice of
disciplinary action- recommendation for dismissal.”
(ECF No. 72-1 at 116). The letter informed plaintiff of
defendant's intent to recommend plaintiff's
termination. (ECF No. 72-1 at 116). The letter then outlined
what rules CCSD alleged plaintiff violated:
for these actions and the specific rules violated are CCSD
4. Discourteous treatment of the public;
5. Violence or behavior that threatens violence directed at
14. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or
15. Failure to follow the rules and regulations of the
District (specifically the General Orders of the CCSD
(ECF No. 72-1 at 116). The letter contained a detailed
description of the facts upon which these grounds were based,
including plaintiff's testimony he provided at his
September 29 interview. (ECF No. 72-1 at 117). Lastly, the
letter notified plaintiff of his right to respond to the
recommendation, including the option of an evidentiary
hearing to determine if the facts and circumstances warranted
the recommended disciplinary action. Id.
January 7, 2016, the evidentiary hearing was held regarding
CCSD's recommendation for plaintiff's dismissal. (ECF
No. 73 at 1). Plaintiff's attorney, speaking on
plaintiff's behalf, explained plaintiff's position
regarding the termination. (ECF No. 73 at 2). The
recommendation for dismissal was thereafter accepted and
plaintiff was dismissed. (ECF No. 69 at 6).
POA filed a grievance regarding plaintiff's unpaid
suspension. (ECF No. 72 at 6). On November 20, 2015, CCSD
denied the grievance and upheld the unpaid suspension. (ECF
No. 72 at 7). On November 30, 2015, POA again filed a
grievance regarding the unpaid suspension and requested
arbitration. Id. After the January 7 evidentiary
hearing, POA filed a grievance contesting the dismissal ...