Another day, another Democrat gets caught breaking the law. This time it was Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, the NM House Majority Leader. She is being accused of embezzlement of up to $954,000. It was part of a racketeering, laundering, and illegal kickbacks scheme. The New Mexico Democrat was the recipient of 60% of the government contracts with Robotics Management Learning Systems LCC, a D.C.-based company.
Stapleton, a powerful member of the leadership in the state House of Representatives is under a criminal investigation being conducted by the Attorney General’s Office on allegations that she is in violation of the New Mexico’s Governmental Conduct Act. Investigators conducted searches of her Albuquerque business office Tuesday night and her home Wednesday morning. They had been looking into irregularities in her work as an administrator at Albuquerque Public Schools since the spring.
Law enforcement agents have executed search warrants at the home and business of state Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton.
According to a filed warrant, she is under investigation for racketeering, money laundering and receiving illegal kickbacks.
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.
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Although she has not been arrested yet, it is only a matter of time before they wrap up the investigation and bring formal charges against her. According to a search warrant affidavit, the accusations against her concern a Washington-based company, Robotics Management Learning Systems LLC, which specializes in online learning materials.
Williams Stapleton was able to be involved with the procurement of a contract with the company and she could also approve invoices from the company. Robotics Learning then paid money to Stapleton, her businesses, and the non-profits she is involved with.