NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg is under fire after a complaint was filed against him for the way he endorsed a candidate. Citizen Richard Garcia saw the email endorsement and filed a complaint after seeing the use of the New Mexico State Treasurer’s Office seal in a letter encouraging people to vote for one of the candidates in the upcoming Democratic primary for treasurer.
Kenneth Stalter, a Civil Rights Attorney explains, “The official seal of the State Treasurer set out in New Mexico law as an official image. When Mr. Eichenberg uses that on electioneering materials, it creates confusion and it creates the impression that this is something official from the government. That’s totally inappropriate.”
The complaint includes a copy of a letter Eichenberg sent to the Democratic delegates asking them to support his subordinate Heather Benavidez – in which the State Treasurer’s official seal is on. In the complaint, it also states Eichenberg failed to report expenditures he had made to support heather Benavidez’s campaign for State Treasurer.
Eichenberg also filed a complaint against Benavidez’s opponent, Laura Montoya. The complaint is accusing her of filing questionable campaign finance reports. Stalter continues, “Authorities are looking at those complaints, what, if anything needs to be done and deciding whether or not they were just frivolous actions by Mr. Eichenberg.”
According to the Hatch Act– a state or local officer or employee may not use their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office. The complaint against Eichenberg has been filed with the Secretary of State, Attorney General’s office, the State Auditor, and the New Mexico State Ethics Commission.
KRQE News 13 reached out to State Treasurer Eichenberg for comment but did not hear back.