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School district fires ex-legislator amid corruption probe

September 1, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque school system has fired former state Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton from her nearly $80,000-a-year occupational education position amid a corruption investigation.

Williams Stapleton resigned her legislative position in July amid a criminal investigation into possible racketeering, money laundering, kickbacks and violations of a law governing the conduct of state lawmakers.

A lawyer for Albuquerque Public Schools, Luis Robles, said Tuesday that Williams Stapleton had been “discharged.” He declined to elaborate.

Williams Stapleton’s attorney, Ahmad Assed, did not immediately respond to a request Wednesday by The Associated Press for comment on her behalf.

The school district previously placed Williams Stapleton on leave after investigators searched her home.

Authorities are investigating Williams Stapleton’s connections to a company that received more than $5 million in contracts to do business with the school district.

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Williams Stapleton has not been criminally charged and Assed has said Williams Stapleton would cooperate with investigators and clear her name.

Robles said Williams Stapleton can appeal her termination from the school system.

The Bernalillo County Commission recently filled the House vacancy created by Williams Stapleton’s resignation by appointing fellow Albuquerque Democrat Kay Bounkeua.