APS hit with federal grand jury subpoena on Stapleton


A federal grand jury subpoena was served on Albuquerque Public Schools District this week seeking records of state House Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, in what apparently is a parallel investigation to the racketeering, fraud and kickback investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.

FILE — House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, speaks at a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee in January 2019. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

The subpoena asks APS for many of the same records the state Attorney General’s Office seized in search warrants in their investigation involving Stapleton and Robotics Management Learning Systems LLC.

According the state search warrants, businesses and charities owned by or connected to Stapleton received more than $950,000 in payments from Robotics.

State investigators were unaware of the federal interest in Stapleton until recently. The federal investigation, the Journal has learned, began almost 18 months ago and focused on misuse of federal grant money.

Stapleton was put on administrative leave from her $78,673-a-year job at APS as director of Career and Technical Education this week by Superintendent Scott Elder, as were 11 other employees involved with that department.

Stapleton was suspended after state search warrants were served on her home, business, her office at APS and the state Legislature on Wednesday.

The federal investigation, which involves the FBI and the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service, focuses on money APS received through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical education Improvement Act.

Grants from that federal program, in part, paid for the software and training provided to APS by Robotics.

The subpoena asks for “any and all correspondence, to include emails, between Sheryl Williams Stapleton and APS and its employees regarding Robotics Managment Learning Systems LLC.”

It also asks for all policy guidance and procedures APS uses for requesting, spending and accounting for federal grant funding, along with travel vouchers, evaluatons, and earning and leave statements among other documents.

Robotics supplied software that was supposed to provide students with multiple choice online quizzes and develop teacher training materials integrating math and science into the Career and Training Education programs that Stapleton oversaw.

Robotics was paid $5.3 million by APS between 2006 and 2021.

In 2018, the APS procurement office asked Robotics for a report on the number of students using the Robotics quizzes and received a spread sheet showing 691 “unique users” out of almost 80,000 students in the APS system. The procurement office found that the spread sheet was done by Stapleton’s office and not Robotics.

APS has until Aug. 24 to turn over the records to either the FBI or in person to the federal grand jury.

Federal agents were present on Wednesday morning when investigators from the Attorney General’s Office served search warrants on APS, Stapleton’s home and the family’s restaurant, A Taste of the Caribbean.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney had no comment and are prohibited from discussing matters pending before a federal grand jury.

Federal agents were also in contact with the Washington, D.C.-based Robotics and its owners this week, the Journal has learned.

The Journal has been unable to contact anyone at Robotics.

 

Federal grand jury subpoena served on APS by Albuquerque Journal on Scribd

Lawmaker rose to power at Roundhouse

Lawmaker rose to power at Roundhouse

Lawmakers to launch Stapleton ethics probe

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Topgolf property listed for $16 million
ABQnews Seeker
The property housing Topgolf's Albuquerque location ... The property housing Topgolf's Albuquerque location is on the market, with a list price of $16 million.
2
Verus Research scratches a seven-year itch — for more ...
ABQnews Seeker
With seven years of accelerated growth ... With seven years of accelerated growth under its belt, Albuquerque engineering firm Verus Research h ...
3
BernCo says no to vaccine mandate
ABQnews Seeker
Despite state and federal employee vaccine ... Despite state and federal employee vaccine requirements, leadership at Bernalillo County announced it would not mandate COVID-19 shots for its workforce — a decision ...
4
Could stadium money go to police instead?
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque voters will decide this fall ... Albuquerque voters will decide this fall if the city should invest in a new multiuse soccer stadium using millions of dollars the project's supporters ...
5
Man charged in series of West Side armed robberies
ABQnews Seeker
A man is accused of robbing ... A man is accused of robbing 10 West Side businesses at knifepoint — most of them in less than a month’s time — and ...
6
Percentage of fully vaccinated NM residents nears 70% mark
ABQnews Seeker
The percentage of New Mexico adults ... The percentage of New Mexico adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19 inched closer to 70% on Friday, with the state's vaccine administration rate having ticked ...
7
Father accused of sexually assaulting girls during sleepover
ABQnews Seeker
A man is accused of sexually ... A man is accused of sexually assaulting his daughter’s friends — 12 and 13 year olds — after getting them drunk during a sleepover ...
8
NM unemployment drops, but still higher than nation
ABQnews Seeker
After staying stagnant for several months, ... After staying stagnant for several months, New Mexico's unemployment rate dropped in August bu ...
9
Rio Rancho, West Side could add legislative power
ABQnews Seeker
Rio Rancho could gain a seat ... Rio Rancho could gain a seat in the state House under redistricting plans issued this week as New Mexico prepares to draw new political ...