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Disgraced Senator Charged

Disgraced Senator Charged

Victims of the fraud charges filed Monday were the State of New Mexico and two brokers involved in the building sale who were cheated out of their commissions on the sale by Griego, according to the complaint by the attorney general.

Allegedly hid role in building sale

ABQ FREE PRESS STAFF REPORT

The Office of the New Mexico Attorney General has charged former Sen. Phil Griego with bribery and fraud in connection with his involvement of the sale of a state building in Santa Fe.

The charges, filed in Santa Fe District Court on Monday, also allege perjury, tampering with public records and violations of the state’s financial disclosure act. Victims of the fraud charges filed Monday were the State of New Mexico and two brokers involved in the building sale who were cheated out of their commissions on the sale by Griego, according to the complaint by the attorney general.

Griego told New Mexico Political Report, an online news entity, that he was “flabbergasted” by the charges when informed of them by another news media outlet. “What they explained to me is ludicrous,” Griego told New Mexico Political Report.

According to the criminal complaint, Griego, a San Jose Democrat, acted as a broker and was paid $50,000 in the sale of a building at 139-141 Galisteo St. that had been used by the Energy and Natural Resources Department. The sale of any state building requires legislative approval. Griego asked another legislator, Rep. Jim Trujillo, a Santa Fe Democrat, to introduce a resolution to authorize the sale, and Griego personally presented the resolution to the Senate Rules Committee.

But Griego did not tell Trujillo or anyone else involved in the transaction that he represented the buyer, Galisteo St. Inc., according to the charges filed by the attorney general.

Griego’s involvement in the 2014 sale led to Griego’s resignation from the Legislature late in the 2015 session. Had he not resigned, it was likely that the Senate would have censured him.

Griego previously served as a Santa Fe City Council member and as Santa Fe’s Mayor pro-tem. The filed against Griego noted that he had sponsored legislation in 2006, 2007 and 2015 to authorize the sale of state-owned property.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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