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Ousted Albuquerque Schools Administrator Faces Child Sex Charges

A former Albuquerque, N.M., schools deputy superintendent faces charges of sexual assault on a child in Colorado, according to reports from the Albuquerque Journal and television station KOB.

Jason Martinez left his job last week after news broke that he hadn't completed a required background check. Court documents reviewed by the newspaper and television station show that Martinez faces trial in Denver on six counts of sexual assault on a child by a person of trust. The charges stem from alleged incidents dating as far back as May 2010.

Martinez started his $160,000-per-year job this summer as the handpicked deputy of new Superintendent Luis Valentino.

"I was surprised to learn of these charges and certainly would never have offered Mr. Martinez employment with the district had I knowm," Valentino wrote in a statement released to the Albuquerque Journal. "I regret that decision."

In a subsequent story, the newspaper reported that the head of the district human resources department disputes Superintendent Valentino's claims that he was unaware of Martinez's incomplete background check.

Martinez cited personal commitments as the reason for his resignation, KOB reported.

Before coming to Albuquerque, Martinez worked as the vice president of education solutions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a publishing house, and previously served as an administrator in the Denver, Co., school system.

Martinez was already under scrutiny because of a dispute with the district's chief financial officer, Don Moya, over a potential IT contact with a Denver firm, according to the website NM Political Reports. Moya questioned why Martinez was dealing with a former Denver schools colleague who resigned from the district after being accused of accepting kickbacks from vendors.

Superintendent Valentino became involved in the Martinez-Moya conflict when he mistakenly sent an email intended for another administrator to Moya.In the message, Valentino intended wrote that he planned to "go after" Moya, NM Political Reports found.

The Albuquerque school board called an emergency meeting over the weekend to discuss a personnel matter with the superintendent, but the school board president told the Albuquerque Journal that Valentino's job is safe.

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