Andrew Clinger starts Monday as a senior adviser to Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Clinger returns to state service after more than five years as Reno city manager, a post he was forced to resign from amid allegations by three city women of sexual harassment.
After two extensive investigations costing the city of Reno $235,000, Clinger was cleared of sexual harassment charges. All three of his accusers have since resigned from the city.
“It’s a perfect place for me,” Clinger said Saturday. “I’m honored that the governor would give me this opportunity and I look forward to working with him and helping him.”
Clinger said he will be handling issues involving workforce development, economic development and education, both K-12 and higher education.
Sandoval’s Chief of staff Mike Willden said those initiatives are the governor’s top priorities.
“Andrew and I will be tag-teaming those four or five major initiatives,” Willden said.
“I’m super excited about it,” said Clinger, adding that he expects to spend the weekend getting caught up on some of the economic development and other bills he will be dealing with.
Willden said they had been talking to Clinger for some time — since he was cleared of the allegations. He said Clinger brings a wealth of knowledge about the state and the budget to the governor’s office.
“We talked back and forth longer than last week,” Willden said. “We made an offer to Andrew last week.”
“Obviously we understand there might be some public concerns,” Willden said. “But we’ve read all the reports online and those reports basically say ‘not guilty of sexual harassment.’ There are some things in those reports I don’t think Andrew is very proud of but we’ve discussed them with him.”
Before he took the job as Reno city manager, Clinger was Nevada State Budget Director for both Jim Gibbons and Sandoval for 5½ years. Between the state and city, he has 19 years in public service.
“Andrew was my first budget director and helped manage the state’s fiscal challenges during a difficult time,” said Sandoval in a statement released to The Nevada Independent. “His wealth of knowledge helped place Nevada on a sound financial footing and I know he will serve as an effective adviser.”
“I think the governor has done a great job with his improvements to K-12 and his economic development policies,” Clinger said. “I have a lot of respect for him and I’m excited about going back to work for him.”
Clinger left city service in September before the final, independent investigation cleared him of the allegations.
“After having been off the last five months, I don’t know how I’d ever retire,” he said. “I’d go crazy. Stacie (his wife) knew when I started cleaning out junk drawers in the kitchen that I needed to go back to work.”
Clinger will be paid $117,294 a year. The senior adviser is a slot vacated by the resignation of Dale Erquiaga.