Ex-Senator clings to campaign funds amid scandal

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phil griego_109229

SANTA FE (AP) – Former New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego is keeping a political campaign account open even as he fights criminal fraud and bribery allegations linked to his tenure as a lawmaker.

Griego filed a campaign finance report this week with state election officials that shows no contributions or expenditures since six months ago, when his account had a $42,000 balance.

New Mexico politicians can keep campaign accounts open for years on end without actually running for office as long as they file periodic reports.

Griego resigned from the Senate in March 2015 after acknowledging constitutional violations. The Secretary of State’s Office has flagged several campaign account expenditures by Griego last year for possible violations.

Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico says the situation “makes a joke out of our elective process.”

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