“OK to pay,” the search warrant of Sheryl Williams Stapleton

Politics - Government

FILE – In this Jan. 21, 2020, file photo, New Mexico Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, talks to fellow lawmakers before the start of the New Mexico legislative session in Santa Fe, N.M. The New Mexico Legislature is considering a bill that would support African-American education. The Black Education Act would allocate $200,000 to create an advisory council and educational liaison position within the Public Education Department. The bill is sponsored by Harold Pope Jr., New Mexico’s first Black state Senator and fellow Democrat and Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On April 26, 2021, Albuquerque Public School Superintendent Scott Elder submitted to the New Mexico Attorney General a letter referencing “Suspected Violations of the Governmental Conduct Act and Procurement Code” of Sheryl Williams Stapleton. According to the search warrant…

“APS paid Robotics $5,360,030.00 from March 2006 to June 2021. Bank of America records detail that overwhelmingly, Robotics’ primary source of income is its contracts with APS. APS employees and NMAG Investigators have noted that the procurement process with regard to Robotics was not performed in accordance with state law.”

Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton Coverage / Story continues below

“Documents show that Sheryl Williams Stapleton signed invoices from Robotics showing approval or writing in “ok to pay.” APS employees also reported that she would inquire about the payment of Robotics or handle paperwork to and from the company; which is reported not to be a regular practice. Furthermore, as previously stated, Sheryl Williams Stapleton signed and provided documentation for the procurement and payment of CyberQuest from Robotics. Investigators have determined that Sheryl Williams Stapleton proposed numerous legislative measures specifically for the “CTE” programs for public schools. At least three (3) of those bills are known to have passed and two (2) have been subsequently funded. Sheryl Williams Stapleton is the CTE Director for APS and an integral part of securing the contracts for Robotics.”

“Investigators calculated that approximately 60% of money paid to Robotics by APS between 2014 and 2021 was subsequently redirected to Sheryl Williams Stapletons’ direct interests, including her son David Hendrickson, her restaurant A Taste of the Caribbean, S. Williams & Associates, and the Ujima and Charlie Morrisey Foundations. That total is approximately $954,386.04.”

Questionable businesses (including a restaurant), offshore accounts, proposed legislation for funding going back years, and more are presented in this search warrant.

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