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.