Man accusing Governor of sexual abuse speaks out

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The longtime Democratic political operative accusing Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of sexual assault, is shedding some light on what he says happened.

James Hallinan says the Governor seemed to think it was funny when he says she grabbed his crotch. The Governor’s Office says those claims are bizarre and slanderous.

“It really f* me up,” says Hallinan.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has already denied any wrongdoing. Now, Hallinan is telling his side of the story after posting vague tweets on Christmas Day about what he says happened during his time working for the then gubernatorial candidate.

“She took a water bottle and dumped it on my crotch and then slapped and grabbed me in front of everybody,” he claims.

Hallinan is a former employee of the Governor’s campaign and Attorney General Hector Balderas. He claims this assault happened during a senior staff meeting held at Representative Deborah Armstrong’s home in the summer of 2018.

Hallinan waited more than a year to come forward and claims there was a reason for that. “Her campaign manager convinced me not to report it to law enforcement, convinced me not to quit the campaign because I tried,” he says.

Hallinan’s tweets have garnered a lot of reaction, including support from Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block. However, it also has drawn criticism.

A person on Twitter claimed Hallinan shamed an assault victim of UFC fighter Jon ‘Bones’ Jones when she accused him of slapping her inappropriately. When asked about that, Hallinan defended himself.

“I thought we were going to talk about what happened to me, but no. I interviewed people and I represented my client and I responded,” he says.

The Governor’s Press Secretary has disputed Hallinan’s claims, adding, his time working with the campaign was “marked by frequent inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. Hallinan was so unprofessional,” according to the Governor, “he was not offered a job in her administration.”

Hallinan fired back and says that statement was bizarre.

“If everybody wants to lie about what happened, then that’s their choice. Like I said, there was a lot of people in that room and this was just only one instance,” he says.

A police report has not yet been filed, but Hallinan says he will speak with law enforcement soon.

KRQE News 13 reached out to Rep. Deborah Armstrong to ask her if she saw this alleged assault in her home. She says, “I never witnessed any such thing.”

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