Santa Fe city councilor used public campaign funds for gift cards

Politics - Government

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE)- A newly elected city official in Santa Fe is facing criticism after she said she used taxpayer money to buy gift cards for her volunteers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Santa Fe City Councilor Jamie Cassutt-Sanchez purchased $220 worth of gift cards from a local coffee shop to hand out to her volunteers. The councilor received $15,000 in public financing.

Cassutt-Sanchez then wrote the city a check for $3.93 which was for the remaining amount of public finance money she didn’t spend. The purchase is now raising concerns regarding the use of campaign funds.

Cassutt-Sanchez tells the Santa Fe New Mexican she wanted to recognize the people who helped her. The incident comes after a campaign finance report showed City Councilor Renee Villarreal spent a third of the $1,500 she received in public campaign financing for a victory night celebration.

The city attorney’s office says they have not yet reviewed campaign finance reports.

Cassutt-Sanchez won the race for the District 4 council seat during the municipal election on November 5.

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