Denver jurors who heard the case of former Albuquerque Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez could not come to a verdict. A judge declared mistrial today after jurors couldn’t come to a unanimous verdict, according to the Associated Press. Martinez is facing charges for sexually assaulting two boys. Despite being charged with the crimes in summer 2013, Martinez was still hired on this summer as a top-level APS staffer by then-Superintendent Luis Valentino. Martinez never completed a background check for the school district, which maintains it never knew of his past until New Mexico Political Report broke news that Martinez’ was facing trial in Denver for sexual assault charges. The news came one day after Martinez abruptly resigned from APS.
Luis Valentino is still in charge of the school district, at least for now. A grueling five-hour special Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting over “a limited personnel matter relating to the superintendent” didn’t result in any immediate decision on Valentino’s position as superintendent of APS. Instead, another special school board meeting will take place Thursday at 7 am. Nearly the entire meeting occurred in executive, closed-door session. At the end of the meeting, school board President Don Duran read a statement saying the board had a “very thorough and rigorous discussion of the facts” with Valentino.
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino spoke out following a week of controversy over the district’s controversial decision to place an administrator on paid leave. In a written statement released to media outlets late Monday afternoon, Valentino appeared ready to move on. “It’s unfortunate that a personnel issue has been forced into the headlines on these first days of school when our focus should be on our students,” he wrote. His statement follows news of leaked emails showing Chief Financial Officer Don Moya disputing a potential district business deal with a tech company, as well as the district’s subsequent plans to write a request for proposals for an assessment of its IT systems.
Moya was put on leave Aug. 7 after receiving an accidental text message from Valentino that said he was “going to go after him.”
The deputy superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools directly contacted the controversial former chief operating officer of a tech company for a possible assessment of the school district’s IT systems.
Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez reached out to Bud Bullard, the former chief operating officer of Advanced Network Management for potential business with the school district. Martinez and Bullard are no strangers. Both worked at Denver Public Schools at the same time. While Bullard was in charge of the district’s IT department, Martinez was the deputy director of academic operations from 2010 to 2012. “In this particular case Mr. Martinez reached out to Mr. Bullard,” ANM CEO Raminder Mann told New Mexico Political Report in an interview, referring to his company’s contact with APS.
Last week, the superintendent of the state’s biggest public school district accidentally told one of his administrators via text message that he was “going to go after” him. The school district placed Chief Financial Officer Don Moya on paid leave shortly after Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino sent the text message. To date, neither Albuquerque Public Schools or Moya will comment on why Valentino is targeting Moya or why the district put Moya leave. Yet internal school district emails obtained by New Mexico Political Report show Moya raising concerns about a potential business agreement days before being put on leave. At issue was the school district’s possible agreement with an IT company whose former chief operating officer received kickbacks from contractors when he worked with Denver Public Schools.