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Editorial: APS passes the AD buck

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Albuquerque Public Schools penalized former Sandia High School Athletic Director Tom Knauber with what amounts to a two-shot foul when the district should have tossed him out of the game.

Knauber has been accused of planting drug contraband in the office of Sandia head boys basketball coach Alvin Broussard over spring break as part of a plan to force Broussard out.

First, he either did it or he didn’t. If innocent, he should have been able to stay as AD at Sandia. But since APS has concluded discipline is in order, it is fair to assume there is sufficient proof.

APS’ disciplinary committee had several options for Knauber, including termination or suspension. After a hearing, the committee agreed to move Knauber to another school and put him on a “high priority” list for hiring.

Broussard’s attorney, Leon Howard, says that’s putting other teachers and students at risk – a reasonable conclusion if Knauber’s history is a predictor of future behavior. Broussard’s predecessor at Sandia, Adrian Ortega, has told the Journal that Knauber made “vague, untrue allegations” toward him which he believes contributed to his dismissal as Sandia’s head coach several years ago.

Howard told the Journal: “If there is any validity whatsoever to the allegations (against Knauber), that type of behavior is criminal in nature and egregious, and warrants more action than just moving him to another school.” He is right.

Howard isn’t pleased with APS’s level of diligence in investigating or with the fact that it hasn’t issued a statement clearing Broussard. If APS has finished its investigation it should say what it determined and give reasons for its disciplinary action.

But transferring an employee after a problem as serious as planting contraband that could incriminate an innocent party doesn’t fix things. If that’s what happened, Knauber should be fired.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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