Building at fairgrounds still named after former lawmaker accused of stealing millions

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you head to the New Mexico State Fair, it’s hard to miss Sheryl Williams Stapleton‘s name plastered on a building right by the main entrance. Of course, the now-former state representative is accused of stealing millions of dollars, but that doesn’t mean her name will be coming off that building anytime soon. Williams Stapelton’s name has been on the building since 2008, now some fairgoers say it’s time for a change.

Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton Coverage / Story continues below

It should come off,” said Titus Morgan, as he walked into the fair with his family. Despite fairgoers’ opinions that her name should be removed.

Former State Lawmaker, Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s name is still displayed on the African American Performing Arts Center and Exhibit Hall at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds.

“As soon as you hear the name, you already know, that person was stealing money,” said Tina Coriz, another fairgoer.

Stapleton’s home was raided by agents from the Attorney General’s Office back in July. She’s accused of stealing millions of dollars from the state and Albuquerque Public Schools.

Stapleton has not been charged with a crime yet, but she’s since been fired from the school district, and she resigned from the legislature. In 2018, the state passed a law that keeps state buildings from being named after elected officials who are currently in office. Stapleton’s name was already on that building, after being dedicated to her in 2008, so it was grandfathered in. The law also says if an elected official whose name is on a building is convicted of a felony, their name will immediately be removed.

The governor’s office says they’re not going to take any action prematurely to remove the name, saying Stapleton is innocent until proven guilty. The state says if Stapleton is convicted, the general services secretary could then provide a list of names to the governor, to honor with their name on the building.

Expo New Mexico says it only maintains the buildings at the fairgrounds, they have no role in deciding whose names are on the building.

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