APS to pay former CFO $800K in lawsuit settlement

Albuquerque Public Schools.
(KRQE/File Photo) - Albuqueruqe Public Schools - APS District Office Uptown

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Public School District is out hundreds of thousands of dollars after settling a lawsuit with its former Chief Financial Officer, Don Moya.

While the district wouldn’t comment Wednesday, it will have to pay Moya $800,000 in the lawsuit filed back in 2015, and there are some rules they have to follow.

“I think it’s lovely they can settle a $800,000 lawsuit but they can’t afford to pay their teachers, they can’t afford to bring supplies into the classroom,” said Leslie Perino.

The settlement comes after things got ugly between Moya and district. Moya was put on leave after the former superintendent Luis Valentino mistakenly sent him texts meant for the Public Education Department secretary saying he was going after Moya.

Emails later surfaced showing Moya was questioning former Deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez about suspicious audits. Moya filed a whistle-blower  lawsuit claiming he was retaliated against when he spoke up about those audits.

Taxpayers don’t like hearing about the hefty payout.

“I think APS is getting a bit big for its britches. I think a nice independent audit would be nice,” one resident said.

There is more to the agreement: neither Moya or the district can say anything bad about each other. If they do it’s a $20,000 fine.

The school district did not return calls for comment Wednesday. However, according to the settlement, “APS and Mr. Moya have reached an agreement to resolve his lawsuit. Both parties are happy to put the events of 2015 behind them and are moving forward in a positive direction.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that it’s taking away from tax payer dollars. I think there should be things put in place that help us avoid these types of situations,” said Jason Cloyes.

APS also had to give Moya a positive letter of reference as a part of the settlement. He served as CFO for APS from July 2010 to November 2015

The letter notes an increase in the district’s operation budget and awards Moya received during his time with APS.

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