ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A victory for the city of Albuquerque after the Attorney General found that the city did not violate the state’s anti-donate laws when it bought artificial turf for the Duke City Gladiators. The investigation though did find another problem with the purchase.
The purchase came under scrutiny after an investigation by News 13’s Larry Barker. The city purchased the artificial turf which was placed in Rio Rancho for the Duke City Gladiators to play on with Tim Keller there for the rollout.
The move sparked criticism from city councilors and Albuquerque’s own Inspector General’s office found the purchase violated the state’s anti-donation clause. A new Attorney General report disputes that finding.
Story continues below:
- Business: Flix Brewhouse to open a second location in Albuquerque
- Albuquerque: City plans to lease Balloon Fiesta Park for New Mexico United stadium
- New Mexico: How will a government shutdown impact New Mexico?
- Community: What’s happening around New Mexico September 29 – October 5
The report finds the city did not violate an anti-donation clause and since the city always retained ownership and control of the field, it was never a gift or donation. The report did find the state’s Department of Finance and Administration was eight to deny the city’s request for reimbursement. They said the legislature appropriated $160,000 for artificial turf for somewhere in Albuquerque in Bernalillo County not Rio Rancho.
In a statement Friday night, the city said in part:
“We appreciate the AG for debunking uninformed, incorrect claims in the Inspector General’s report regarding the anti-donation clause. The turf was temporarily in Rio Rancho because of COVID restrictions and it is back home in Albuquerque now as was always intended.”
The turf is rolled up in storage now at Expo New Mexico but the city said it will be used for youth sporting events in the future. When the city moved the turf to Expo New Mexico, they did say they would resubmit the request for reimbursement from the state.