August 25, 2015

Arrest warrant out for former APS deputy chief

Mugshot of Jason Martinez from 2013.

A Denver district judge agreed to revoke two bonds for Timothy Jason Martinez.

Mugshot of Jason Martinez.

Mugshot of Jason Martinez.

The order from Judge Martin Egelhoff came late Monday afternoon, the same day the District Attorney’s Office filed the motion to revoke the bonds.

This means an arrest warrant is now out for Martinez, who resigned from his role as deputy superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools last Thursday.

“As a standard practice, we have reached out to his attorney to let him know of the motion and warrant,” Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough wrote in an email Tuesday morning.

Martinez’ arrest warrant is just the latest in a ballooning APS scandal that’s involved alleged retaliation against an administrator, a missed background check of an alleged pedophile and a whistleblower lawsuit implicating the state’s education secretary and its highest office—the governor—in the controversy.

The day after his resignation from APS, New Mexico Political Report found that Martinez had been hiding from the school district the fact that he was facing a trial in Denver in October for four counts of sexual assault of a child. Martinez was arrested in Denver in July 2013 for the charges.

Denver police also arrested Martinez earlier this year in February on a domestic abuse case involving two charges of violent assault.

Martinez never completed a background check with APS, which would have caught his prior arrest records and barred him from employment with the school district.

It’s a situation that’s put APS Superintendent Luis Valentino in the thick of a heated controversy. Valentino, who officially started at the school district in late June, handpicked Martinez as his second-in-command the following month at a $160,000 salary.

By taking the job in Albuquerque, Martinez violated terms in his pretrial release, which required him to receive permission from the court before traveling outside of Colorado, let alone moving permanently to take a high profile public job. The district attorney’s motion to revoke Martinez’ bond mentioned he was well aware he needed court approval to go out of state, noting that he asked for and received court approval to travel for business in December.

As of now, Valentino’s future with the school district is unclear, though calls for his resignation grow louder each day. Most recently, board member Steven Michael Quezada told the Associated Press that the situation was “not fixable.”

The school board met with Valentino in a five-hour executive session meeting Sunday evening and didn’t make a decision. Another emergency board meeting is set for Thursday at 7 a.m.