ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – About a month after the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office raided the home a long-time state legislator and Albuquerque Public School employee, Sheryl Williams Stapleton has been discharged from APS, according to Luis Robles, APS attorney. Williams Stapleton is under investigation for allegations of racketeering, money laundering, and getting kickbacks.
Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton Coverage / Story continues below
- Full Warrant: “OK to pay,” the search warrant of Sheryl Williams Stapleton
- ‘Lawmakers, not lawbreakers’: Rep. Stapleton’s legislative investigation process
- NM lawmaker demands more transparency of legislative appropriation expenditures
- State Rep. Stapleton under investigation for alleged racketeering, money laundering
- Republished: State rep violates APS policy by collecting pay while working legislative role
The district is not saying exactly why she was discharged. As of Tuesday, Williams Stapleton has not been criminally charged. She resigned from her position in the legislature on July 30. Last week, Bernalillo County Commissioners appointed Rep. Kay Bounkeua to represent House District 19.
The AG’s Office launched a criminal investigation into Williams Stapleton after APS Superintendent Scott Elder took over and noticed some red flags back in April. The investigation is tied to APS’ contract with a software company called Robotics which was supposed to provide services to students.
The company never produced a workable program but Robotics was paid more than $5 million over 13 years. Investigators are also looking into whether Williams Stapleton used her position in the Roundhouse to illegally funnel state funds to Robotics and her nonprofits. Investigators are still trying to figure out where most of the money went by tracking bank accounts. They believe they’ve tracked some of the money to checks cashed directly by Williams Stapleton.
Williams Stapleton can appeal APS’ decision to discharge her. No word on if she will do that. The APS attorney says that seven APS employees remain on leave while an internal investigation continues. One was Williams Stapleton’s immediate supervisor and the other had various roles with the Robotics program.