April 20, 2016

Don Moya out at APS

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Courtesy Don Moya

Albuquerque Public Schools has let go of its former Chief Financial Officer Don Moya, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Courtesy Don Moya

Courtesy Don Moya

The newspaper reports that APS didn’t renew Moya’s contract earlier this month after his medical leave time expired.

Moya seriously injured himself in a motorcycle incident last fall, breaking both of his legs.

Moya’s relationship with the school district has been strained since last summer.

Last August, Moya raised concerns about a potential school district contract with a Denver IT company whose then-chief operating officer had previously gotten fired from Denver Public Schools for taking kickbacks from companies.

Moya clashed with then-APS Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez over the potential contract. Then on Aug. 7, APS Superintendent Luis Valentino accidentally sent a text message to Moya saying he was going to “go after” him because Moya “has been allowed to ride roughshot [sic] over here and controls a lot of d [sic] financials.”

Valentino had meant to sent the text to Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera.

APS put Moya on paid administrative leave that same day without explanation.

Soon, a separate scandal involving Martinez began to unfold as Martinez abruptly resigned Aug. 20 after two months with the district.

Martinez never completed a required background check, and NM Political Report soon found out he had previously been arrested for sexual assault of a child and was facing an upcoming trial for the charges in Denver.
Martinez’s trial ended in a mistrial, though prosecutors said at the time they would re-try the case.

Moya sued APS for violating his whistleblower protections. Valentino resigned the following week.

APS later offered Moya a demoted role in school finance with the same salary, a job he declined and said was part of retaliation against him.

Moya had been on medical leave until an April 1 expiration date, according to the Journal, and APS did not renew his contract because he never returned at work.

The newspaper quotes Moya’s lawyer saying Moya wouldn’t be healthy to return to work until May 3 but that he was trying to be reevaluated ahead of the school district deadline.

Moya’s lawsuit is pending in Santa Fe district court.

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