October 28, 2015

Mora schools has to stop paying superintendent who faked credentials

Mora Independent Schools must stop paying the superintendent who reportedly faked his credentials, the Public Education Department secretary said.

Exam FrustrationThe district’s school board had previously voted to allow Charles Trujillo to continue receiving pay while the allegations were investigated.

But the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Hanna Skandera says that he cannot be paid.

“There is no further investigation necessary with regard to his licensure status or his eligibility for employment,” Skandera wrote in a letter to the school district. “Should the district refuse to comply with the law, please be advised the [Public Education Department] will take all action as authorized by law to correct the situation.”

The New Mexican says that while Trujillo has yet to resign, an agenda item on the Mora school board’s next meeting says they will accept his resignation.

A five-month long investigation by the Las Vegas Optic found that Trujillo did not have the proper credentials to get a license to be an administrator at a school. Last week, a PED employee said she did not sign one of the allegedly forged documents and that she previous raised concerns about his credentials. A day later, a former PED employee corroborated the account and said that she also raised concerns.

Trujillo was himself the head of licensure at PED in 2013, before heading up the Mora school district.

The controversy surrounding Trujillo has drawn attention from District Attorney Richard Flores, Attorney General Hector Balderas and State Auditor Tim Keller. Both PED and New Mexico Highlands University—Trujillo falsely stated he earned a Master’s Degree from the northern New Mexico school—are conducting investigations into the matter.

Trujillo surrendered his educator licenses to PED last week after the report came to light. He cannot operate as a superintendent without the licenses.