Corruption Questions Face Attorneys General

Patricia Madrid has until the end of the year to begin an investigation into the pervasive corruption exposed in today’s Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

A state judge and a top aide to House Speaker Ben Lujan have been living rent-free in homes owned by a government affordable housing agency that has been rocked by scandal in recent months.

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Judge Theresa Gomez, who earns more than $93,000 a year, resides in a government-owned, ranch-style home in southwest Albuquerque.

Lisa Ortiz, who earns more than $71,000 a year working in Lujan’s office at the Capitol in Santa Fe, lives in a manufactured home on nearly 78 acres just north of Stanley.

The Albuquerque-based Region III Housing Authority purchased both homes in 2004. Its mission includes acquiring homes and selling them to qualified low-income buyers.

Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos, the ousted executive director of the housing agency, is a former House member, Lujan friend and lobbyist who frequents the speaker’s office when the Legislature is in session.

If Madrid doesn’t do it, it will be left to the new Attorney General, Gary King. So far, no one has announced their resignation for defrauding the poor and our state’s taxpayers. If King and/or Madrid do not make an announcement regarding an immediate investigation, it will send a strong message endorsing another four years of a thriving corruption economy in the Land of Enchantment..