SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the wake of the recent scandals, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it harder for corrupt officials to lie cheat and steal, by making it easier for you to help nail them.
State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto has an idea to help crack down on corrupt public officials. It comes in the wake of the Dianna Duran and Demesia Padilla scandals, and in the form of an 86-page bill that would make sweeping changes to how tips on dirty politicians and appointed officials would be investigated.
“What it does do is make sure the public knows that they have a place they can go to in order to file a complaint and that somebody independent will listen to it,” said Sen. Ivey-Soto.
Tips are everything in the fight against public corruption. Tips led to jail time for Duran, who was stealing her own campaign money, when policing campaign funds was her job as Secretary of State.
Tips also led to the downfall of Padilla, who’s accused of trying to derail an audit as Secretary of the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department — an audit that could have exposed claims that she was stealing from a tax client.
Ivey-Soto’s bill would create a bipartisan 12-member board with no elected or governor appointed officials, that would look at tips and complaints. That board would make sure tips are forwarded to the right agencies for an unbiased investigation, and then track those investigations and put their status on the internet.
Elected or appointed officials would be barred from serving on the board. If passed, Ivey-Soto thinks it would take a year to get the accountability board up and running.
The legislative session starts Jan. 17.