The majority leader of the New Mexico House of Representatives announced her resignation Friday while investigators continue to probe evidence of possible racketeering, money laundering, kickbacks and violations of a law governing the conduct of state lawmakers.
Democratic Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton of Albuquerque said in a resignation letter that she “unequivocally” denies the allegations against her but decided she must devote her time and energy to fully defend herself.
“I have made the difficult decision that it is in the best interest of the state,” she wrote in the letter to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
According to a search warrant affidavit, the allegations involve Williams Stapleton’s connections to what appeared to be a Washington, D.C.-based company, Robotics Management Learning Systems LLC, which was supposedly providing web-based learning materials to Albuquerque Public Schools for years. Williams Stapleton worked as coordinator and director of the district’s Career and Technical Education Department for years and became involved with the procurement process, documents state. She was placed on administrative leave Wednesday.
A search warrant affidavit outlined an elaborate and yearslong scheme involving her son and others. The affidavit stated she, as well as companies she owns and nonprofits with which she is involved, received about $953,000 from Robotics.
More than a dozen employees of Albuquerque Public Schools, including teachers, have been placed on paid leave as the investigation continues.
APS officials had previously said it is possible that more APS employees will be placed on leave as the investigation proceeds.