Former state lawmaker Sheryl Williams Stapleton waived her right to a formal reading of the criminal charges against her and entered a plea of not guilty late last week.
State District Judge Lucy Solimon imposed standard conditions of release on Williams Stapleton. They prohibit her from possessing firearms, consuming alcohol and leaving the counties of Bernalillo, Sandoval or Valencia without prior permission of the court while the case against her is pending.
The former House Majority Leader is accused of racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges in connection with what prosecutors have called an elaborate scheme to financially gain from a deal she helped broker with a Washington, D.C.-based company through her position as the head of the Career and Technical Education department at Albuquerque Public Schools, her former employer.
The grand jury indicted the 64-year-old Albuquerque Democrat on 28 counts last month.
All but two of the charges are felonies, and four charges carry a sentence of nine years of imprisonment and fines up to $10,000. Many of the others carry a basic sentence of 18 months and fines up to $5,000 each.
Williams Stapleton has denied any wrongdoing but resigned from her legislative seat in late July. She said she would put all her efforts into fighting the charges.