NM attorney general tells secretary of state he's ready for referrals of campaign finance reporting violations

Dan Schwartz The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Attorney General Hector Balderas told Secretary of State Dianna Duran Thursday in a letter that his office is ready for her to refer him cases of campaign finance reporting law violations.

On Feb. 8, The Daily Times reported that Duran's staff had collected only 4 percent of the nearly 2,000 fines she imposed on candidates for violating the Campaign Reporting Act in recent elections. She waived approximately one-third of all the fines.

New Mexico law allows Duran to refer the violations to the Attorney General's office or a district attorney, where the misdemeanors can be investigated and prosecuted.

Balderas said Thursday that Duran has not referred any cases to his office. San Juan County District Attorney Rick Tedrow recently said his office also has received no referrals.

"As I indicated at the meeting," Balderas said in his letter, referencing a Jan. 27 meeting with Duran, "it is my hope that we can develop an effective working relationship between our offices to ensure the maximum protection of the rights of New Mexico voters."

The letter continues with Balderas saying his office is ready to "accept violations of the Campaign Reporting Act" should they be suitable for referral.

The Daily Times obtained a copy of the letter late Thursday, and officials in Duran's office were not immediately available to comment for this story.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.