"It is clear that you are no longer qualified to hold your position as a board member.” - NM Attorney General Hector Balderas to APS board member Analee Maestas.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Monday demanded that Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education member Analee Maestas resign following a report that there might have been more than $700,000 embezzled from the charter school she founded and once ran.
“I am writing to demand your immediate resignation from the Albuquerque Public Schools’ Board of Education,” Balderas said in a letter that he emailed to Maestas. “In the wake of two years worth of highly concerning allegations regarding misuse of public funds and gross fiscal mismanagement at La Promesa Early Learning Center while you were Executive Director there, it is clear that you are no longer qualified to hold your position as a board member.”
In a statement to the media, Balderas said:
“School board members have a duty to treat their position as a public trust and at all times act in a manner that justifies the public’s confidence in them. Due to recent controversies, I have asked Board Member Maestas to resign from the Albuquerque Public School Board or we will be forced to take legal action.”
State Auditor Tim Keller revealed the allegations regarding Maestas and La Promesa Early Learning Center on Sept. 12. Nearly $500,000 was diverted from La Promesa into the private account of a school employee, according to Keller’s report..
The employee who received the money was the school’s assistant business manager, Julieanne Maestas, Analee Maestas’ daughter. Analee Maestas was the school’s executive director at the time of the alleged misconduct.
Balderas also emailed letters to Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden and Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez informing them that he had asked Maestas to resign and asking for their cooperation.
Analee Maestas has denied any knowledge of the alleged fraud and embezzlement, and she has blamed financial mismanagement at the school on her daughter’s substance abuse problems.
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