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Richardson Slow to React

In September 2005, the Albuquerque Journal ran a front page article (subscription) on a big Bill Richardson supporter, Guy Riordan:

A broker with close ties to Gov. Bill Richardson conducted $1.2 billion in investment business with the state Treasurer’s Office in the last budget year.

The business with Wachovia Securities represented one-third of all Treasurer’s Office purchases of federal agency bonds, corporate bonds and commercial paper. The remaining two-thirds went to 12 other brokers, according to Treasurer’s Office monthly reports.

Wachovia Securities’ contact with the Treasurer’s Office is Guy Riordan, a managing director for the company in Albuquerque.

He has contributed at least $28,000 to Richardson’s campaign fund and helped raise other money for the governor. He was appointed by Richardson in January 2003 to the state Game Commission, which Riordan has chaired.

Did Governor Richardson immediately ask for Mr. Riordan to step down from his Game Commission appointment and away from any New Mexico business? No.

The Journal went on to do a series of articles on Guy Riordan with details like this (subscription):

Politics often being a two-way street, Riordan, a stockbroker, received billions of dollars in government investment work from elected officials.

Riordan attracted little public notice over the years; he was just one of the many who quietly work the political system and make money from it.

But whether by design, inevitability or some combination, the spotlight has found Riordan.

He has palled around with Gov. Bill Richardson and is a Richardson appointee to the state Game Commission.

He also handled government investments for former state treasurers Robert Vigil and Michael Montoya, both indicted in September on corruption charges.

Riordan hasn’t been charged with a crime and has said his company prohibits him from talking about his business with the Treasurer’s Office.

Still there was no action by Governor Richardson to remove this man from involvement with state government. Then all of a sudden after six months of exposes the Governor finally decides to remove Mr. Riordan:

But on Tuesday, Richardson announced that he was removing Riordan from his position on the state Game Commission. A spokesman said the governor is concerned about the accusations.

I don’t get it. This is the Governor who is known for moving fast, very fast. Yet, when it comes to acting on matters of corruption, he moves like molasses.