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Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Why did Attorney General Patricia Madrid’s office dismiss 5 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and 14 counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor in the case against Tiffany Mia Barbosa, the daughter of Mark Rendleman?

Look at the docket. Obviously, a lot of time, effort and taxpayer dollars had gone into pursuing this case, so what possible circumstances could warrant the dismissal of so many charges against a child predator after nine years of litigation? How is it possible that the defendant in the case would walk without a jail sentence?

For the answer, we need to look at a motion for continuance filed on 8/15/05 in the case of Barbosa’s father, Mark Rendleman. The motion states, in part:

“During the course of this case, former co-defendant Mia Barbosa, who is the daughter of Defendant Rendleman, began a friendship with a close personal friend of Attorney General Madrid. When Attorney General Madrid became aware of the potential conflict, she advised the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office and from that time forward relied upon the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office to handle completely, all plea negotiations and proceedings involving Ms. Barbosa as a defendant.

“Recently, Ms. Barbosa, who remains a key defense witness, became the wife of Attorney General Madrid’s close personal friend. Given this circumstance, the Attorney General believes that a conflict of interest now exists that would violate the Rules of Professional Responsibility if the Office of the Attorney General were to continue to prosecute this case.”

You may be wondering, “Who is this close personal friend?” The answer is attorney Bill Robins. And the case against his wife is not the only time eyebrows have been raised regarding the relationship between Mr. Robins and Patricia Madrid:

Madrid’s committee has received at least $45,000 from members of law firms that received contracts early last year to represent state pension funds and the state Investment Council in securities fraud lawsuits.

Bill Robins, a partner in a Houston law firm that also has offices in New Mexico, contributed $25,000 last August [2004].

Hmm, Mr. Robins gives Madrid $25,000 in August 2004 and in November 2004 it just so happens that 19 counts against his wife are dismissed, and she walks away without jail time on the one remaining count. Didn’t the Rules of Professional Responsibility require Patricia Madrid to excuse herself from the Barbosa case upon receipt of those funds?