APS board member accused of stealing thousands resigns

Analee Maestas
Analee Maestas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After hundreds of thousands of dollars went missing from her charter school, Analee Maestas is resigning from the Albuquerque School Board.

At a board meeting Tuesday night, fellow board members had nothing but nice things to say about her.

There is a civil and potentially a criminal investigation into Analee Maestas and her daughter, both employees at La Promesa Early Learning Center.

A year-and-a-half ago, KRQE News 13 uncovered La Promesa Early Learning Center’s Executive Director Analee Maestas was accused of using school money for an expensive cleaning job at her home.

It launched a state investigation and uncovered that even more money was misused. It all led up to Tuesday when she stepped down from the school board.

The embattled school board member, Analee Maestas, announced her resignation Tuesday.

Read Analee Maestas’ letter of resignation:

Board of Education,

Effective Immediately I am submitting my letter of resignation from the APS Board of Education.

It has been an honor to serve on the Board with each of you.

Dr. Analee Maestas

“You know, I think we will miss her on the board. She was a very dedicated board member,” APS Board Member Candelaria “Candy” Patterson said.

“She really cared about all the kids. She did it for over 40 years,” fellow board member Peggy Muller-Aragon said.

Maestas’ resignation comes two weeks after Attorney General Hector Balderas demanded her resignation and threatened legal action in this letter, saying she’s no longer qualified for her position.

This, after State Auditor Tim Keller, revealed in September that Maestas’ daughter, the school’s business manager, was signing checks made out to vendors and pocketing around $500,000 meant for La Promesa.

“Her mom was her boss, and the signer of all these checks,” Keller said.

Maestas has maintained her innocence, saying “the Attorney General did not quote any single law or court case in his request for her to resign.” Despite that, Tuesday night her chair sat empty.

The Albuquerque Police Department is investigating this case. When police are done, the case will be turned over to the District Attorney who will decide if the Maestas’ will face charges.

Maestas could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Board of Education has until the end of November to make an appointment to replace Maestas. They’ll fill the seat until the next school board election.

 

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