It’s Never Wise To Taunt Reporters When You’re Crooked: Lawmaker’s Mouth Gets Her In Trouble.

Posted on May 3, 2012

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New Mexico (The Gaslamp Post) – A state representative who publicly ridiculed a report about her hand in the cookie jar, was once again outed for her alleged misdeeds, and this time with much more details.  New Mexico’s House Majority Whip and Albuquerque Public School’s administrator, Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D) was reported by KRQE-TV, to have collected her salary from the Albuquerque school district, while also serving in the state legistature.  In essence, not being there working but still getting her paycheck, because she never put in for a leave of absence.Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D)

KRQE obtained an email sent by Stapleton’s then supervisor, Sheila Hyde, who wanted Albuquerque PS Human Resources to “back date” a leave-of-absence form for Stapleton, in order to make things look right.  The email is reported to have been sent September 29, 2011, right about the time that her alleged misconduct was being investigated, the first time around.

“She is requesting a start date of January 2010 and an expected leave end date of January 2012,” according to Hyde’s e-mail. “I am aware of some outside inquires into her role and duties so I want to double-check with you. And, since this looks like it may (be) after the fact and the reason is for political leave.”

Human Resources obviously turned the request down.  In New Mexico, altering any public record or document is a fourth-degree felony.

Winston Brooks, Albuquerque PS superintendent called the request “unethical.”

It is reported that Stapleton took over 650 days of paid leave between 2005 and 2011, but received $285,000 in unauthorized salary during that time.  Sounds like good work, if you can find it.  District policy prevents a non-teacher, employee, from collecting their salary while on leave for political work.  Obviously she knew she got caught.

Larry Barker – The reporter who busted Stapleton. He is a very dangerous man.

Another interesting development in the case was another email that was sent to KRQE General Manager Bill Anderson, from APS Superintendent Winston Brooks.  In the email, Brooks is said to have attacked KRQE’s reporting of their findings, and called the entire investigation by reporter Larry Barker, “misleading” and “disturbing.”

Oh look! Here’s a picture of Rep. Stapleton posing next to Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Interesting….

There’s only one problem with that; Brooks reportedly had never sent that email, and states the he never wrote it.  Further investigation revealed that although the email did come from an APS account, its origin wasn’t Brooks’ account, it came from Stapleton’s.

When asked about the email, Stapleton declined to comment on it.  On her last day of the 2012 legislative season, Stapleton is quoted as telling a KRQE reporter, “You all did not tell the truth on me, so I have nothing to say.”  Asked what was not truthful, Stapleton declined to answer.

(h/t:  KRQE-TV)