SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – State lawmaker Sheryl Williams Stapleton has resigned from her position in the legislature. For the first time, Williams Stapleton is speaking out about the corruption allegations against her. Democrats and Republicans are agreeing on the resignation of the now-former representative. However, she is denying the accusations against her.

Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton Coverage / Story continues below

A powerful lawmaker known as a force to be reckoned with in the Roundhouse has resigned. Sheryl Williams Stapleton has represented a southeast Albuquerque district since 1995 and was elected by her fellow House Democrats to the prestigious Floor Leader position. Making her the second-highest-ranking legislator in the House for the past few years. After her resignation, her picture has already been removed from the legislative leadership’s website.

The Attorney General raided her home and business this week. The AG has accused her of racketeering, money laundering and getting kickbacks.

They believe she was funneling Albuquerque Public School and state funds in the millions to her own bank account and non-profits. “The Office of the State Auditor has been able to provide expertise and we continue to collaborate with the Office of the Attorney General as the investigation unfolds,” said State Auditor Brian Colon.

The attorney for Williams Stapleton sent the following statement Friday afternoon:

Ms. Williams Stapleton decision today, reflects her dedication and commitment to her constituents, colleagues, and the citizens of our state. She continues to be deeply troubled by the false allegations raised by the Superintendent of APS, and unequivocally denies them. The investigation is in its very initial stages and no comment can be made as to any of the allegations; however, we are confident that the conclusion of the investigation will put them to rest. Ms. Williams Stapleton is eager to cooperate in the investigation to clear her name of any wrongdoing. Despite the reckless manner in which the some have portrayed the allegations against her, Ms. Williams Stapleton has not been charged with a crime at this juncture. She is presumed innocent under the law, particularly when no charges have been filed. There is a high burden to present evidence to support proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the State must meet to overcome the presumption of her innocence. Ms. Williams Stapleton adamantly maintains that innocence.”

Ahmad Assed, Assed and Associates 

It’s not just the state investigating her, William Stapleton’s attorney said they are also aware of a federal investigation. Her attorney points out she has still not been charged yet. Williams Stapleton is already on administrative leave from APS. The House Democratic Caucus will meet Saturday to talk about Stapleton’s resignation and who will take her spot as the House Majority Leader. The Bernalillo County Commission will be responsible for appointing a new representative to carry out the remainder of the lawmaker’s term.

House Democratic leadership also issued the following statement Friday on Stapleton’s resignation:

“Given the weight of the allegations against Rep. Stapleton and the ongoing investigation, her resignation from the House is appropriate and in the best interest of the Legislature and the state. There is important work to be done for the people of New Mexico, and House Democrats and our strong leadership team will continue to remain focused on serving our constituents and moving our great state forward.”  

Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos, and House Majority Caucus Chair D. Wonda Johnson

The Republican Party of New Mexico issued the following statement Friday:

This is a sad day in New Mexico politics. I know Rep. Stapleton personally, and we have worked together, but there’s no excuse for what she’s apparently done. These actions must be dealt with appropriately. She should step down because she has violated the public trust and violated her oath of office to New Mexicans. Rep. Stapleton must be held accountable, and we hope the investigation and judicial process will take the proper course in this matter.”

Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce

Read Williams Stapleton’s resignation letter below: