August 20, 2015

APS deputy superintendent resigns amid scandal

Albuquerque Public Schools

The embattled deputy superintendent with Albuquerque Public Schools handed in his letter of resignation late Thursday afternoon, just days into his first school year.

Jason Martinez via LinkedIn

Jason Martinez via LinkedIn

Jason Martinez was involved in a high profile back-and-forth with Chief Operating Officer Don Moya over a possible IT assessment.

In his letter, according to the school district, Martinez cited personal and family commitments as the reasons for his decision to resign. His resignation is effective Aug. 21.

Update: APS never completed a background check on Martinez, per a report.

Update 2:  Documents obtained by New Mexico Political Report on Friday found that Martinez is facing charges of sexual abuse of a child in ColoradoStory continues as originally written below.

“I want to thank Mr. Martinez for his service to the district and students of the Albuquerque. He has been a valuable member of the district leadership team,” APS Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino said in a statement. “I believe that the position of deputy superintendent is an important one for the district and I will be seeking to fill it in the near future.”

APS would not comment further on the resignation.

While Martinez said he resigned because of personal and family commitments, they come as Martinez’s professional life was under strict scrutiny.

Martinez was involved with the scandal that led to Moya being placed on administrative leave. Moya received a text message from Valentino that was apparently meant for Secretary of Public Education Hanna Skandera. In it, the superintendent said he wanted “to go after” Moya.

Valentino sent the text to Moya instead of Skandera. APS put Moya on leave that same day and has since declined to say why.

After the text message, New Mexico Political Report obtained emails that showed Moya and Martinez clashing over a request for proposals for the IT assessment.

Later that day, Moya sent an email saying he directed the school district’s senior buyer in procurement to halt work on writing the RFP until his concerns were addressed.

“Not your call Don,” Martinez shot back in an email. “The work will move forward as planned.”

The company that was dragged into the situation later told New Mexico Political Report that Martinez reached out directly to Bud Bullard, who was the chief operating officer at the time at Advanced Network Management.

Bullard and Martinez worked together at Denver Public Schools. Martinez was the deputy director of academic operations from 2010 to 2012 while Bullard was in charge of the IT department.

Bullard was eventually implicated in a kickback scheme at Denver Public Schools, which cost him his job.

By the time Moya and Martinez sent the emails back and forth about the IT assessment, Bullard had already resigned from ADM.

Joey Peters contributed to this report.