ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The background check process at Albuquerque Public Schools is troubling. Those words are from Attorney General Hector Balderas whose office performed an audit on the district following the scandal involving deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez who was hired while facing child molestation charges.
Balderas says what he found at APS is “gravely concerning”. The bottom line is the process is incomplete and leaves students at risk.
Balderas says he assembled a team to analyze the background process at APS to ensure that what happened with Martinez never happens again. Martinez was accused of molesting boys in Denver before he came to Albuquerque.
He was awaiting trial for the crime but APS administrators say they never knew because a background check had not been performed on him. The AG’s Office found he’s not the only employee who fell through the cracks. There were 4 other employees who did not have a current background check, who were required to.
And they found nearly 2,300 current APS employees who do not have background checks on file because they were hired before 1999 when background checks were not required.
The auditor says it concerning anyone who works with students would not be property vetted. APS had said it would get those background checks done by May but Balderas says the process should be put into high gear.
APS released a statement about the audit saying it worked alongside the AG’s Office and welcomes the recommendations. They added the safety of students is their top priority and they will work to implement the recommendations in a timely manner.