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School Invoice Oopsie

School Invoice Oopsie

'Efforts to use funds that belong in our classrooms or personal expenses, in any amount, raises serious concerns of public trust' - State Auditor Tim Keller

APS Board Member Denies Altering Invoice for her Charter School

Auditor Says Cleaning at Annalee Maestas’ Home Was Billed to School

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

Albuquerque Public Schools Board member Analee Maestas might have broken four state laws when she sought reimbursement for cleaning that was done at her home, and not at the charter school that she heads, State Auditor Tim Keller says.

Maestas, the executive director of the La Promesa Charter School Early Learning Center, was reimbursed for $342.40 for cleaning work that was done Last July, supposedly at the school at 5201 Central NW. But an audit earlier this year found that the receipt submitted by Maestas had been altered to reflect that the cleaning had been done at the school, an not her home, Keller said Tuesday in releasing the findings of his office’s review of the case.

“The timeline of events indicate that the Executive Director used school funds to pay for work completed at her home,” Keller said. “Efforts to use funds that belong in our classrooms or personal expenses, in any amount, raises serious concerns of public trust.”

Keller’s office added, “Altering an invoice for personal services and submitting it for reimbursement of public funds raises possible criminal violations, including: Government Conduct Act, Public School Finance Act, Paying or Receiving Public Money for Services Not rendered, and Making or Permitting False Public Voucher.”

Maestas told ABQ Free Press that she hadn’t seen Keller’s report and she did not alter an invoice. “There was cleaning done at the school and cleaning done at the house, and I paid for that,” Maestas said, adding that the cleaning bill for her house was more $324.

Keller said that the bill for cleaning Maestas’ house on July 31 was “the exact same amount submitted for reimbursement from the school for the supposed carpet cleaning.” The company that did the work at Maestas’ home said it never did any cleaning work at the school, Keller said.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.