- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The state’s highest court is ordering a former Washoe County school principal and the district that fired her to try and settle their dispute.

Kara White and district representatives will meet with a Nevada Supreme Court-appointed mediator Thursday, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported (https://on.rgj.com/1KyhloJ).

White is seeking three years of backpay and benefits totaling more than $400,000.

White, who oversaw Lemmon Valley Elementary, was suspended in February 2013 and fired months later.

Lawyers for the district filed court documents that say a counselor complained to the district about inappropriate expenses.

Using student activities funds, the counselor said White bought her a $149 necklace and lunch for the school’s entire staff. Superintendent Doug Parry investigated and determined White had “authorized excessive and inappropriate expenditures.”

White says she was always accountable for any spent school funds.

“I have never denied that I used funds this way or that way,” White told the Gazette-Journal. “I was always very accountable, turning in receipts for everything.”

An arbitrator’s upholding of her firing was struck down in White’s appeal in Reno District Court.

“The record does not turn up substantial evidence of dishonesty,” Judge Scott Freeman said in his ruling.

The district then appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court because, as officials wrote in an email, it “believes its decision to dismiss the principal is supported by the law.”

District representatives declined to comment, saying they would not discuss pending litigation.

The case could go to the Supreme Court or it could be sent back to arbitration if both sides cannot reach an agreement.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, https://www.rgj.com

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