Washoe County maintains there is nothing improper about a top official continuing to work remotely from California part-time, with the county covering travel costs, since his hiring two years ago.
The Reno Gazette Journal reported Thursday that Behzad Zamanian, the county’s chief information officer, does not live in Washoe County.
He commutes from Southern California, where he held the same role for the city of Huntington Beach for five years. Zamanian has been working in county offices for two weeks each month. The county so far has covered more than $12,600 in plane tickets and hotel rooms, according to county human resources records the newspaper obtained.
Zamanian, who oversees digital security and technology infrastructure, currently earns more than $180,00 a year plus benefits.
County spokeswoman Bethany Drysdale says the county agreed to cover Zamanian’s travel during his first year. He also took a lower starting salary of $160,000 to offset the travel expenses for the county, she added.
Zamanian says he also did not want to uproot his daughter during her high school years. He says he plans to move to Reno in 2024 after she graduates.
Roughly three-quarters of the staff follow a hybrid model. And Zamanian isn’t the only employee living in California, Drysdale said.