Aspen School District CFO resigns after nearly 11 years |

Aspen School District CFO resigns after nearly 11 years

Aspen Elementary School.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

The Aspen School District and its chief financial officer of nearly 11 years have split ways.

CFO Kate Fuentes tendered her resignation to the district March 18 with it taking effect March 31, Superintendent John Maloy confirmed Tuesday.

Citing confidential personnel matters, Maloy declined to say whether the district asked Fuentes to resign as an alternative to termination, nor would he say if her exit was related to job-performance issues. Fuentes did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday.

Fuentes most recently drew an annual salary of $145,803, according to Maloy.

An email from Board of Education President Dwayne Romero, which was exchanged among him, board Vice President Susan Marolt and a reader seeking information about the resignation earlier this month, said the school’s financial advisory board postponed its meeting scheduled for Tuesday until April 17.

“The (financial advisory) board has its next meeting scheduled for April 17,” Romero’s email said. “It was previously scheduled for April 2, but with Kate’s resignation the meeting has been pushed back in order to allow for an interim transition to occur.”

With Fuentes gone, the school district has four key job openings — CFO, human resources director and the head principals at Aspen Middle School and Aspen Community School, among other vacancies.

Principals Craig Rogers and Jim Gilchrist of AMS and ACS, respectively, are leaving their posts at the end of the academic year.

While Maloy declined comment about the nature of her departure, Fuentes’ job performance attracted the school district’s scrutiny after she failed to file a deed of trust regarding a $30,000 home loan that then-HR director Elizabeth Hodges received from the district in March 2017.

Hodges declared personal bankruptcy in February 2018 in the wake of a Missouri court’s $1.1 million judgment against her. That judgment was the result of a lawsuit the couple’s survivors filed against Hodges over her estate planning when she practiced law in Missouri. The state disbarred her in April 2018, and following the school district’s renewed background check into Hodges last fall, she resigned in January.

Because the district failed to file a deed of trust on the Hodges’ loan with the Garfield Clerk and Recorder’s Office (Hodges’ home is in Garfield County), the bankruptcy court cannot give it priority status for repayment because the loan is considered unsecured.

The school district learned about the oversight in November as part of its examination into Hodges’ background. Maloy told The Aspen Times last month that the district’s financial department and CFO bore the responsibility of filing the deed of trust.

Fuentes had been the district’s CFO since July 2008, previously working 13 years as controller and human resources manager at Sport Obermeyer in Aspen.


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