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NM superintendent under fire for hiring official facing sex abuse charges resigns

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, file photo, Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino, right, talks with Albuquerque Journal editors in the newsroom, in Albuquerque, N.M. The Albuquerque school board is scheduled to decide Valentino's future, on Monday, Aug. 31, following the hiring of an administrator facing child sex abuse charges. (Marla Brose/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, file photo, Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino, right, talks with Albuquerque Journal editors in the newsroom, in Albuquerque, N.M. The Albuquerque school board is scheduled to decide Valentino's future, on Monday, Aug. 31, following the hiring of an administrator facing child sex abuse charges. (Marla Brose/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

The board that oversees New Mexico's largest school district unanimously voted Monday to accept the resignation of its embattled superintendent, who hired an administrator charged with child sex abuse.

The decision regarding Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino follows a controversy that has enveloped the troubled district just two months after he took the position.

Board members voted in a special meeting that followed previous hours-long, closed-door sessions on the matter.

Valentino hired Jason Martinez to head the troubled district's instruction and technology division. But the district never completed its background check on Martinez, who was charged in Colorado with felony sexual assault on a child involving two victims.

Martinez has resigned.

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Valentino told reporters last week he was upset with himself for not being aware of Martinez's many legal problems. He vowed to continue in his position.

A lawyer for Karen Rudys, the district's interim assistant superintendent for human resources, said Valentino was informed multiple times about Martinez refusing to complete his background check but ignored those concerns. Valentino has denied the allegation.

Valentino became superintendent in June and hired Martinez before he took over.

Denver County Jail records show Martinez was booked there last week on a no-bond hold. Authorities say he violated the terms of an earlier bond agreement when he left the state without court permission.

Martinez on Thursday appeared in Denver District Court, where Judge Brian Whitney increased his bail to a total of $200,000 on the child sexual assault charges and separate charges of assault involving two adults. His bail previously totaled $100,000.

Martinez worked for Denver Public Schools for 10 years, ending in 2012. He was arrested in Denver in the sex abuse case in 2013. Neither of the alleged victims was connected to his employment at that district.

In Albuquerque, some parents started circulating an online petition calling for Valentino's resignation, collecting more than 2,500 signatures.

The school board had asked residents for patience while it weighs Valentino's future. Classes in the district started earlier this month.

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