ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools Chief Financial Officer has now filed a whistleblower protection lawsuit following his suspension from the district.
Don Moya filed the lawsuit against the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, APS Superintendent Luis Valentino, and the New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera.
The lawsuit claims Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino retaliated against Moya after he reported former Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez to superiors. Moya claims that Martinez was mishandling a possible contract related to district computer systems.
According to the lawsuit, Moya was also at one point offered the position of deputy superintendent at APS shortly after Superintendent Luis Valentino started with the district. The lawsuit states that the job offer was rescinded by Superintendent Luis Valentino after a meeting he had with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and PED Secretary Hanna Skandera.
Moya alleges that Secretary Skandera and Governor Martinez advised Valentino not to hire Moya because both “expressed displeasure that Mr. Moya was insufficiently supportive of Governor Martinez’s political agenda.
Moya also alleges that Valentino hired now former APS Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez on the advice of Secretary Skandera and Governor Martinez.
Monday night, spokespeople for Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera denied the allegations in Moya’s lawsuit.
The New Mexico Public Education Department released this following statement:
“These are false and unsubstantiated claims being peddled by a disgruntled APS employee who served under Bill Richardson and clearly has an ax to grind. As the Secretary has said before, Jason Martinez should have never been hired in the first place.”
— Robert McEntyre, spokesman for NMPED.
Governor Susana Martinez’s office released this following statement:
“Governor Martinez dedicated her career to prosecuting child predators and these are completely false allegations by a former Bill Richardson crony who has no credibility. Governor Martinez never even heard [Jason Martinez] his name until this scandal broke. This allegation is so false and over-the-top that we will be filing a complaint with the state bar against the lawyer and challenge her partner — who is an elected official — to agree to resign from office when he is unable to substantiate this absurd claim about the governor.”
— Chris Sanchez, spokesman for Governor Susana Martinez.
News 13 is continuing to follow this story and set to speak with APS CFO Don Moya on Tuesday. Tune in to News 13 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. for the latest.