On October 25, 2007, the federal government filed two document notifying their intent to introduce evidence in the Metropolitan Courthouse kickback scandal. If you take a look at the filing, what is most interesting is not who is named, but who is not named as a “co-conspirator.”
For example, despite the fact that lobbyists are often portrayed and perceived as evil and corrupting influences in the “wholesome” legislative process, the filing tells a different tale:
During the time that Defendant Michael Murphy was a board member of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), he asked a lobbyist to deliver funds to two influential politicians. Defendant Murphy told the lobbyist that his payment from AMAFCA would be increased to pay for the funds that were to go to these two politicians. The total amount of the funds that was to be paid to these two politicians was approximately $30,000.00. The lobbyist refused to agree to this requested arrangement.
Now, it is interesting that the honest lobbyist is not named. But, I guess it’s not to difficult for someone to do a little digging and figure out when Michael Murphy was elected to the AMAFCA Board, and then hop over to the Secretary of State’s website and discover who was registered as a lobbyist for AMAFCA at that time.
However, the big question here that is not quite as easily answered is who are the “two influential politicians” that were supposed to receive $30,000 from Michael Murphy? It would be safe to assume we are not talking about Manny Aragon, since he is already identified in the filing as a co-conspirator. Are these unnamed influential politicians still serving in the Legislature? Are they Democrats or Republicans? Can they still be bought for $30,000?
Speaking of unnamed folks in the legislature:
During the 2003 legislative session, Defendant Aragon told a legislative staff member to redirect funds that had been allocated in 1999 to two other projects to the Metropolitan Courthouse for use as additional funding on that project. Defendant Aragon’s statements, which caused the redirection of the funds, made additional funds accessible to the members of the conspiracy related to the building of the Metropolitan Courthouse.
Kind of makes you wonder who is this unnamed “legislative staff member” who aided and abetted in defrauding the taxpayers? The 2003 legislative session wasn’t that long ago. Is this person still working in the legislature? Are they now assisting other politicians in making “additional funds accessible” for other building conspiracies?
I’ve got to run, but let me leave you with this thought…
The next time you read in the paper about “ethics reform efforts” being proposed by the Legislature, you might want to ponder if any of those serving on the ethics task force are actually the unnamed politicians from the conspiracy.