AG offers assistance to APS in light of scandal

The Attorney General is calling on a review of Albuquerque Public Schools’ policies on hiring and a security assessment following the news that a former deputy superintendent is facing child sexual assault and domestic abuse charges. “There is simply no explanation for exposing any of our children to an individual who has any violent or sexual criminal charges in his background,” Attorney General Hector Balderas wrote in the letter to APS superintendent Luis Valentino. Martinez never underwent a background check. It was only after this that New Mexico Political Report found out that Martinez was facing criminal charges for sexual abuse of a child. APS said they did not know about the charges until New Mexico Political Report reached out to the district for comment.

Suit: Gov, PED secretary influenced APS deputy superintendent hire

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The latest development in the ongoing Albuquerque Public Schools scandal says Gov. Susana Martinez and state Education Secretary Hanna Skandera had a hand in the hire of the disgraced former deputy superintendent of the school district. The chief financial officer for Albuquerque Public Schools filed a lawsuit against his employer Monday afternoon, alleging a civil conspiracy against him and violations of his whistleblower rights. A spokesman for Skandera denied the allegations, saying he “has an ax to grind.” Don Moya’s lawsuit alleges that embattled APS Superintendent Luis Valentino originally offered Moya the position of deputy superintendent.

Former APS deputy superintendent also faces domestic abuse charges

Timothy Jason Martinez hasn’t just been arrested for sexual assault of a child, but also two violent assault charges. Earlier this year, Denver police booked the now former Albuquerque Public Schools deputy superintendent on two assault charges, both involving men. “The allegation is that on Jan. 25 he was involved in altercation with person he had an intimate relationship with,” said Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough. 
One of the allegations from the police report says Martinez struck a person with the side mirror of a car. Police issued a warrant for Martinez on Feb.

AG to look into APS ‘safety breach’

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced on Monday that he will look into the “safety breach” at Albuquerque Public Schools. “I am very concerned about the allegations that safety protocols were breached at APS, I’ve decided to initiate a safety assessment of the matter, and I will be communicating with the district today,” Balderas said in a statement. The school district has been at the center of controversy for weeks. The “safety breach” part appears to come from former deputy superintendent Jason Martinez. Martinez is facing trial for multiple counts of sexual abuse of a child, ranging from sexual abuse of a child from a position of trust to sexual abuse of a child-pattern of abuse.

No decision on superintendent by APS board—yet

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.

APS HR head: Superintendent knew background check wasn’t completed

The Albuquerque Journal reported on Saturday night that APS superintendent Luis Valentino was told multiple times that his deputy superintendent did not have a completed background check. The state’s largest newspaper reported on a letter from  APS interim assistant superintendent for Human Resources Karen Rudys in which she said that she informed Valentino multiple times about the lack of a background check for Jason Martinez. New Mexico Political Report revealed on Friday that Martinez, under the name Timothy Jason Martinez, was facing multiple charges related to sexual abuse of a child. Martinez’s trial is set for October. From that report:
Martinez abruptly resigned from APS on Thursday.

APS deputy superintendent who resigned is facing trial for sexual assault of a child

Outgoing Albuquerque Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez had a reason to delay his criminal background check. On July 18, 2013, Denver police arrested Martinez, whose full name is Timothy Jason Martinez, on charges of sexual assault on a child from a position of trust and other felony charges. The case is still ongoing, with a trial date set for Oct. 9 in District Court in Denver. Martinez faces four counts, all of which allege sexual assault of a child.

APS deputy chief never completed required background check

Albuquerque Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez never completed a criminal background check and fingerprinting in his short time at the district. Both are required for all employees, according to the school district’s website. Update: Something that would have showed up on the background check? That Martinez is facing trial in two months for six counts related to sexual abuse of a child. The story continues as originally written below.

APS deputy superintendent resigns amid scandal

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 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.

One APS board member talked about scandal during meeting

An Albuquerque Public Schools controversy prompted its most recognizable school board member to speak out one week after hitting the headlines. At a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday night, Steven Michael Quezada addressed Superintendent Luis Valentino’s leaked text message telling one of his high-ranking administrators that he was “going to go after” him. The text message appeared to be meant for state Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera. “I’m really concerned about matters of personnel going to the Secretary of Education when I felt it should have been the first email I’ve gotten when I landed in Miami,” board member Quezada said at the meeting. Quezada, a professional actor and standup comedian best known for playing DEA agent Steven Gomez in the AMC series Breaking Bad, said he was out of the country on business when the APS scandal unfolded.