APS confirms chief’s text to ‘go after’ exec

Albuquerque Public Schools acknowledged Tuesday the authenticity of a text message that said the superintendent was “going to go after” an employee who is now on administrative leave. Last Friday, Superintendent Luis Valentino mistakenly sent district Chief Financial Officer Don Moya a text message that said he was “going to go after” Moya. Valentino apparently […]

APS confirms chief’s text to ‘go after’ exec

Albuquerque Public Schools acknowledged Tuesday the authenticity of a text message that said the superintendent was “going to go after” an employee who is now on administrative leave.

Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent Luis Valentino. Photo courtesy APS website
Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent Luis Valentino. Photo courtesy APS website

Last Friday, Superintendent Luis Valentino mistakenly sent district Chief Financial Officer Don Moya a text message that said he was “going to go after” Moya.

Valentino apparently meant to send the message to state Education Secretary Hanna Skandera.

“Mrng [sic] Hanna,” the message began. “I am going to go after Don Moya in d [sic] next couple of weeks. My concern is that he has been allowed to ride roughshot [sic] over here and controls a lot of d [sic] financials. We are also trying to sell a bond. Our rating could be jeopardized. Any ideas?”

Valentino sent the text just before 7 a.m. Moya told New Mexico Political Report that the district put him on administrative leave around 2:30 p.m. that same day.

Valentino confirmed the authenticity of the text message in interviews with multiple TV news stations that are set to air later today.

New Mexico Political Report requested an interview with Valentino this afternoon, but APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta said he was in back-to-back meetings the rest of the day. Classes start this Thursday for the 2015-2016 school year.

Armenta, however, told us what Valentino told other reporters.

“He confirmed that yes, it was an errant text and it was a mistake,” she said.

Armenta added that Valentino is “disappointed” the text message became a public issue and instead wants to concentrate on back-to-school matters, which she said he’s “as focused as ever” on.

Other than stating that Moya is still an employee with the district, Armenta wouldn’t go into more detail about the situation, including why Moya was placed on leave. She said Valentino struck the same chord in his TV interviews.

“The superintendent repeated again and again that this is a personnel issue, that he can’t discuss more about it,” Armenta said.

Moya similarly wouldn’t go into more detail in an interview yesterday, noting that he was still in the process of securing legal representation.

Moya has been head of the school district’s finances for five years.

The advocacy group Stand4KidsNM, which first published the text message on its Facebook page over the weekend, has repeatedly criticized Valentino’s actions.

“Who does the new APS superintendent work for?” wrote Kathy Korte, a former school board member critical of the state’s education reform agenda. “Apparently it’s Hanna Skandera.”

Albuquerque Federation of Teachers President Ellen Bernstein similarly told the Albuquerque Journal that “it would break our hearts if APS just hired a superintendent who cared more about working with the secretary of ed than the employees of the district.”

Valentino started as superintendent in the summer and will soon preside over his first school year in Albuquerque.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she will call the Legislature into a special session this summer to address public safety legislation that did…
Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management finalized its controversial public lands rule on Thursday. This rule is controversial because it allows for conservation leasing…
Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order on Thursday to withdraw more than 4,200 acres of land in Sandoval County near Placitas from mineral…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury announced a bill on Thursday that would, if enacted, establish judicial ethics to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judicial Ethics…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership. Gabrielle Uballez…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report