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District to decide future of principal

Brian Duggan
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

Carson City Superintendent Richard Stokes said the school district will conduct its own investigation of Carson City Middle School principal Sam Santillo, who was convicted of driving under the influence on Friday.

Santillo, 45, said Monday he pleaded guilty in Reno Justice Court to driving with a .136 blood-alcohol content, resulting in a misdemeanor, 42 hours of community service and about $700 in fines.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Santillo said. “I feel like I let myself down, I feel like I let the school district down. But right now my focus is on the court’s recommendation on the level one DUI.”

He was arrested May 28 on U.S. 395 in north Reno after a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper pulled him over for speeding, according to an NHP report. The trooper found an open container of alcohol and less than an ounce of marijuana inside the car.

Santillo said he also will have to attend a victim impact panel and that his driver’s license has been suspended for a minimum of 90 days.

“I love my job and I would like to keep my job, but I don’t have any comment on what the district is going to do at this point,” he said.

Stokes said Santillo’s conviction will be considered a confidential personnel matter by the school district.

“We now have the need from an administrative point of view to determine how any of the details associated with this event relate to his performance as principal,” Stokes said. “We want to make sure we’re taking the appropriate steps and we’re finding out all the facts associated with this.”

He said he could give no timeline or details of the nature of the investigation.