Dig, dig and dig a little deeper. You never know what you might find. Although Attorney General Patricia Madrid’s office never withdrew from the case against Mia Barbosa, it was not actually the Attorney General’s office that signed the plea deal.
I know what you Madrid supporters are thinking, “See, Patsy isn’t as bad as you made her seem.” But, not so fast. Remember, her office never withdrew from the case. Yet, the plea deal was signed off by an Assistant District Attorney from Henry Valdez’s office. Why?
Santa Fe District Attorney Henry Valdez… Henry Valdez… that name rings a bell. Oh, I remember:
According to a front-page article in the Albuquerque Journal on Sept. 21, 2005, [Patricia Madrid’s] office was given an audit in 1999 that alleged [Robert] Vigil’s office used a contractor to filter government money to a former deputy. She referred the matter to DA Henry Valdez, saying she didn’t have the resources to pursue the case.
So, Patricia Madrid seemingly used Henry Valdez to try and make the Robert Vigil case disappear. She seemingly used Henry Valdez to make the case against the wife of her close personal friend disappear, and surprise, surprise, she seemingly used Valdez to make the case against Rendleman, all but disappear.
Just a bunch of coincidences, right? Well, then try this on for size:
The Cauley firm and its members contributed $79,000 in cash and in-kind travel expenses to Richardson’s 2002 campaign and his political action committee. Its Texas and New Mexico bidding partners contributed an additional $90,350.
The firm also made two $5,000 contributions while bidding was under way, including in-kind money for a Richardson trip and a contribution to a campaign fund-raiser for state Treasurer Robert Vigil, who faces re-election in 2006.
Vigil said he met attorney Darrin Williams of the Cauley firm at a conference shortly after being elected in 2002, and they hit it off. He said he sought Cauley’s contribution but that it played no role in the contract award [Yeah, right!]
So, Governor Richardson and convicted felon, Robert Vigil, share the same benefactors, and who are those “Texas and New Mexico partners” who were so generous in their donations? Well, you just have to read a little further down the article:
Madrid in January signed the contract with the Cauley firm and its team, the Branch Law Firm of Albuquerque and the Houston firm of Heard, Robins, Cloud, Lubel & Greenwood. She signed a contract in March for the Goodkind firm and its partner, Carpenter & Stout in Albuquerque.
Eleven lawyers for Goodkind gave a combined $14,750 to Richardson’s campaign. The Heard firm has given $25,000 to Richardson’s committees. One of its partners, Bill Robins III of Santa Fe, donated $48,100. Turner Branch and Margaret Moses Branch, partners in the Branch firm, contributed $17,250.
Whoa, is that the same Bill Robins who is a close personal friend of Patricia Madrid? So close that he gave her $25,000 in August after winning a lucrative contract. So, close that with the help of District Attorney Henry Valdez, Madrid was able to strike a plea deal for his wife to dismiss 5 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and 14 counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor.
Isn’t there a reporter out there who finds this all a little troubling? How about a law enforcement officer? Aren’t lawyers held up to some sort of standard of conduct by their peers? Somebody do something, please.