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Corruption Continues to Flourish in NM

Attorney General Patricia Madrid again seems to be turning a blind eye to corruption in New Mexico. To date, Patricia Madrid has seemingly failed to take action against a Democratic Legislator from Colorado who by all outwardly appearances has masterminded a case of bid rigging in Taos to the detriment of NM taxpayers:

This is from an August 24th, press release from the Trailhead Group, a 527 organization, based in Colorado:

The Pueblo Chieftain Wednesday reported a link between Arrow Buffalo – a limited liability company (LLC) [State Representative] Buffie McFadyen set up in 2005 – and Lester Parker, who operates Parker Excavating. According to the article, “McFadyen started the new company [Arrow Buffalo] with a former employer of hers, Lester Parker, who owns and operates Parker Excavating Inc. in Pueblo.”

The new information raises more questions about a $500,000 contract McFadyen won in the town of Taos Ski Valley, NM.

The town of Taos Ski Valley accepted three bids for a $500,000 contract: Parker Excavating, Parker & Sons, and Arrow Buffalo. Yet the same individuals are involved in all three of these companies and the three share common Colorado addresses. How can companies consisting of the same people compete against each other?

New Mexico law, like Colorado’s, requires a competitive bidding process for state-funded projects. But bidding against oneself does not constitution competition. Clearly, New Mexico taxpayers were the victims in this bid collusion scheme employing “strawman” companies to feint the appearance of competition.

According to New Mexico Revised Statutes, § 13-1-82, a “responsible bidder” means a bidder who submits a responsive bid and who has furnished, when required, information and data to prove that his financial resources, production or service facilities, personnel, service reputation and experience are adequate to make satisfactory delivery of the services, construction or items of tangible personal property described in the invitation for bids.”

A “responsive bid” (§ 13-1-84) “means a bid which conforms in all material aspects to the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids. Material respects of a bid include but are not limited to price, quality, quantity or delivery requirements.”

Arrow Buffalo’s [McFadyen’s] bid appears to be neither responsive nor responsible.

“We can find no evidence that Buffie McFadyen met the requirements for the contract with Taos Ski Valley,” said Alan Philp, Trailhead Executive Director. “For example, when asked for a copy of the necessary bond that is stipulated in the town’s request for proposal and contract, Taos Ski Valley could not provide one. Not only does Buffie McFadyen need to explain how she won this contract, but she needs to explain how New Mexico’s residents were not defrauded by this process.”

“Me versus myself versus I is not true competition,” stated Philp. “This clearly has the appearance of bid collusion. It might constitute bid rigging.”

State Senator Bill Sharer asked Attorney General Patricia Madrid to look into this, but true to form, Patricia Madrid has yet to make this a priority. Once again the taxpayers are the losers here.