House of Representatives leader in New Mexico, Sheryl Williams Stapleton, has been indicted in a huge embezzlement scheme.
Stapleton is accused of embezzling of $954,000 in a racketeering, laundering and illegal kickbacks scheme. The representative serves as the House Floor Leader in New Mexico and is a member of the Democratic party. She was elected as leader in 2017. In April, newly-appointed Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder submitted a letter to the New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas referencing “Suspected Violations of Governmental Conduct Act and Procurement Code.”
According to the warrant, every invoice issued by Robotics to APS was for an even dollar amount, no cents, and in unchanging amounts over the years. Most were reportedly for $40,000. In all, APS paid Robotics more than $5.3 million. Rep. Williams Stapleton is also directly involved with four companies that received payments from Robotics: The Charlie Morrisey Center for Creative Assitance Inc., the Ujima Foundation, S. Williams and Associates, and local restaurant A Taste of The Caribbean.
Evidence suggests that she was eventual recipient of 60% of the APS money — $954,386. Investigators are looking into additional payments that were redirected into her personal bank accounts. (KOB.com) Stapleton’s colleagues said they were “shocked” and “troubled” by the development.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement: “I am deeply, deeply troubled by the reports this morning about a law enforcement investigation into Rep. Stapleton. People are innocent until proven otherwise, and I know investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead. I await more information like all New Mexicans.”
She continued, saying, “But I will say that public confidence in government is seriously damaged by even the appearance of impropriety, or illegal activity, which is why public officials must always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior. New Mexicans expect and deserve elected officials who, regardless of party, will put the people before themselves. Anything less violates a sacred public trust and must be dealt with accordingly.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LCSUN.COM
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