New Mexico Ethics Commission Seeks Subpoena for First Time – US News

Aug 11, 2020 | In the News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Ethics Commission is invoking its full investigatory powers for the first time with a request for court approval of a subpoena.

The commission declined to provide details of the ethics complaint that inspired the investigation. Commission spokesman Sonny Haquani said that state statute requires a probable cause finding before the commission can disclose details of a complaint.

The commission’s due process rules were drawn up last year by state legislators who openly worried that the commission might become a forum for unfounded accusations and political vendettas.

The creation of an independent ethics body was approved by statewide vote in 2018 after serious high-profile corruption scandals led to jail time for former Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran and former state Sen. Phil Griego.

The seven-member commission is appointed by leading state legislators and the governor. It fields complaints regarding campaign finances, government contracting, gifts from lobbyists and more.

The agency has yet to issue a finding of probable cause and publish a complaint.