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Maestas ‘working diligently’ to resolve $342.40 dispute

Analee Maestas attended a special Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting Tuesday morning, but said about a state audit accusing her of fraud. DEAN HANSON/JOURNAL

Analee Maestas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An attorney representing Albuquerque Public Schools board member Analee Maestas said she is “working diligently” to resolve questions surrounding a receipt the state auditor claims she doctored.

Marc Lowry of the Rothstein Law Firm released a statement Wednesday noting that “over her last 47 years as an educator, this single receipt for $342.40 is in dispute.”

“Dr. Maestas brings the highest level of integrity to her public service. … Dr. Maestas is working diligently to resolve this issue, and looks forward to returning to her full-time job as the Executive Director of La Promesa Early Learning Center once a full review of this case is completed,” he wrote.

The longtime administrator and former APS board president is fighting for her career in the wake of state Auditor Tim Keller’s claims that she wrote over a cleaning company receipt to receive $342.40 in improper reimbursement from the state Public Education Department.

Maestas said the cleaning took place at La Promesa, a charter school she founded, but Keller determined it was actually done at her home.

On Tuesday, La Promesa’s governing council placed her on indefinite paid administrative leave from her position as executive director. It also approved a new procedure that requires a council member to review and sign off on administrative reimbursements.

Previously, Maestas and her daughter, who works as the school’s assistant business manager, could approve reimbursements without any other oversight.

PED and the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office have received copies of Keller’s report and are conducting their own investigations.

Maestas may face felony charges and loss of her educational licenses if the district attorney and PED agree with Keller’s findings.

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