Embattled Albuquerque schools chief to learn fate

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DPS Responds To Child Sex Abuse Allegations For Former Principal.

The embattled superintendent of New Mexico’s largest school district is expected to learn Thursday if he’ll stay on the job or be forced out just two months into his position. This Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 booking photo provided by the Denver District Attorney’s Office shows Jason Martinez who was booked Wednesday on a no-bond hold.Officials can’t explain why Martinez was hired without undergoing background checks that would have revealed he is facing child sex charges. (Denver Police) He was slated to be second-in-command at Albuquerque Public Schools, but Timothy Martinez is instead started the year as a fugitive on the run from police in two states before being captured Wednesday after he was revealed to be facing multiple outstanding child sex abuse charges in Colorado.

Martinez, 50, was hired in June as the district’s $163,000-per-year deputy superintendent under the name Jason Martinez, but quit on Aug. 20, citing personal reasons. Those school chiefs left the troubled district in the state’s largest city amid complaints of favoritism, contentious tenures, and allegations of drug addiction. But the real reason for his abrupt resignation, which came after weeks of Martinez dodging fingerprinting and background checks for the new job, was likely the knowledge Colorado authorities were closing in on him. A lawyer for Karen Rudys, the district’s interim assistant superintendent for human resources, said Valentino was informed multiple times about Martinez refusing to complete his background check but ignored those concerns. Authorities say he violated the terms of an earlier bond agreement when he left the state without court permission. “You deserve answers to your questions, an explanation of what has transpired during Superintendent Valentino’s tenure, and information about how we plan to address these circumstances,” the board said in a statement Wednesday. “As soon as we are able to respond, we will.

Martinez, despite not submitting a resume or cover letter, had been personally appointed by current Superintendent Luis Valentino, who denies knowledge of the allegations. Parents, meanwhile, began circulating an online petition this week calling for Superintendent Luis Valentino’s resignation, collecting more than 1,500 signatures. “It’s upsetting to know someone would be allowed to even walk in the doors with that record,” said Angela Gonzales-Carver, a parent advocate from Albuquerque who serves on a programs committee for the National Parent Teacher Association.

When we became aware of the criminal charges pending against Timothy Jason Martinez, we immediately investigated and can confirm there is no record of any alleged criminal activity or disciplinary action involving Martinez during his employment with us from July 1, 2002 through Jan. 3, 2012. Prior to hiring Martinez, DPS conducted a background check, which included submitting Martinez’ fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

He was arrested in Denver in July 2013 on suspicion of sexual assault involving two children – one who an affadavit says was assaulted while in Martinez’s care and the other on a trip to Las Vegas. Colorado court record indicate that Martinez had sexual contact with a boy under the age of 15 between May 1, 2012 and June 27, 2013 and had a “pattern of sexual abuse” of the child for which he posted two $50,000 bonds. Former superintendent Beth Everitt left her post in 2008 following a controversy over the changing a student’s failing grade and former superintendent Joseph Vigil died in a bizarre one-car rollover involving alcohol a few weeks before the start of a school year.

During his tenure at DPS, Martinez served as principal of Dora Moore ECE-8 School, as an Instructional Superintendent and as Deputy of Academic Operations in Elementary Education. The Allison tenure resulted in residents voting down important school funding and led to the creation of a four-person superintendent team that included Everitt, Vigil and Garrity.

According to authorities, both alleged assaults happened in 2012 and 2013 after Martinez left Denver Public Schools in 2012, where he was a grade school principal and a district administrator. But Garrity said the district’s latest controversy happened much faster because Valentino, who was hired from San Francisco Unified School District, made early mistakes and didn’t understand the political fractions in the state.

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