Skip to comments.NM judge booked, fingerprinted in political bribery scandal tied to Democrats, Richardson
Posted on 05/21/2011 5:58:04 PM PDT by Libloather
NM judge booked, fingerprinted in political bribery scandal tied to Democrats, Richardson
Article by: Associated Press
Updated: May 20, 2011 - 3:35 PM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A New Mexico judge charged with bribery in a scandal tied to former Gov. Bill Richardson pleaded not guilty Friday, then was booked, fingerprinted and ordered to hand over his passport.
State District Judge Michael Murphy is accused of telling a potential judicial candidate that if she wanted a seat on the bench she needed to donate to the Democratic Party through a political activist linked to Richardson.
Allegations in a special prosecutor's report imply the practice was common in the district during Richardson's time in office and that Edgar Lopez of Las Cruces delivered the payments to the former governor. Special prosecutor Matt Chandler has said the investigation is ongoing.
Richardson called the accusations "outrageous and defamatory" and said the 113 judges selected while he was governor were chosen solely on merit. For his part, Murphy, who was not jailed, declined comment after the hearing, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. Lopez has not returned calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. The judicial candidate Beverly Singleman also has not responded to calls from the AP.
Murphy on Friday was read his rights, booked, fingerprinted and ordered to post a $10,000 bail during his arraignment on felony bribery and intimidation charges. But retired federal Magistrate Leslie Smith denied the prosecution's request that Murphy sign a warrant and be arrested.
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
Well, shouldn't he get a free pass then?
This is going to be a big story. s/
Two lawsuits filed by a state investment agency Friday allege that investment deals worth hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars were made to reward political contributors to and fundraisers for Gov. Bill Richardson.
Taxpayers won't be picking up the legal tab for two men involved in the latest lawsuit related to alleged pay-to-play schemes in the former Gov. Bill Richardson administration.
A Las Cruces businessman entangled in an alleged pay-to-play scheme for judicial appointments has contributed more than $50,000 to former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson and played a role in Richardson hiring a state investment officer who's been implicated in a separate public corruption scandal.
LAS CRUCES - Suspended District Judge Mike Murphy of Las Cruces entered a plea of not guilty Friday morning to charges of bribery and intimidation. He was read his rights; told to give up his passport and not to travel outside the state of New Mexico or El Paso County; and fingerprinted and processed at the district courthouse.
Sooprize, sooprize! Who’d a thunk it.
This is probably why Richardson got out when he did.
He saw this coming.
This should be a big one (scandal)
Notice he didn't deny the charges.
A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Governor Bill Richardsons political action committees.
The grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 after donating $100,000 to Richardsons efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, people familiar with the matter said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation asked current and former officials from the state agency if any staff members in the governors office influenced CDRs hiring, said the people, who declined to be identified because the proceedings are secret. Richardson, who is President-elect Barack Obamas designate for Commerce Secretary, has a staff of at least 30 people.
Theyre looking at everything related to CDR, William Sisneros, the finance agencys chief executive officer, said of the FBI probe. Theyre just trying to evaluate all the relationships to see what CDR was doing for the money.
CDR was linked to the Birmingham scandal and the indictment of Mayor Larry Langford on corruption charges. Langford solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from bond underwriter Blount Parrish & Co, and CDR advised Langford on the transactions. Blount Parrish managed to secure over seven million dollars in these bond services to Jefferson County, a hefty take from the $235,000 Langford demanded in loans, clothes, and jewelry.
Apparently, federal investigators have discovered a booming market in municipal-bond corruption. The empanelment of a grand jury in New Mexico means that the investigation has reached the stage where criminal charges could get produced. They may not have a difficult time in finding connections, either. CDRs president donated tens of thousands of dollars to a Richardson PAC as well as to Si Se Puede Boston 2004, which helped fund the Democratic convention while Richardson chaired the committee that ran it. The payment to Moving America Forward came in 2003, before their selection as a consultant to the state, while their donation to Si Se Puede Boston 2004 apparently came shortly afterward.
As Clinton’s Secretary of Energy in 1998 his tenure at the Department of Energy was marred by the Wen Ho Lee nuclear espionage scandal. Richardson publicly named Lee, an employee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as a suspect who might have given nuclear secrets to the Chinese government. Lee was later cleared of espionage charges and won a settlement against the federal government for the accusation. Richardson was also criticized by the Senate for his handling of the espionage inquiry, which involved missing hard drives with sensitive data, by not testifying in front of Congress sooner. Richardson justified his response by saying that he was waiting to uncover more information before speaking to Congress. Republican Senators called for Richardson’s resignation while both parties criticized his role in the incident, and the scandal ended Richardson’s hope of being named as Al Gore’s running mate for the 2000 presidential election.
But this is far, far worse.
This brazen criminal has some of the deepest clearances in the United States. He was the Energy Secretary for God's sake.
Far beyond "Q" clearances and into CNWDI - Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information.
The head of the National Labs has to be cleared onto those programs.
What else was this guy selling besides judgeships?
Welcome to Supermax, Guillermo. Maybe you can hang out with Bob Hansen.
What do you call a dozen federal judges handcuffed and stuffed into the back of patrol cars... a start. Corruption in the judiciary is one of the leading factors destroying our country.
NM list PING! Click on the flag to go to the Free Republic New Mexico message page.
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To my fellow New Mexicans
I have a friend that is convinced this one is gonna go big and deep and lots of folks are gonna get burned bad,
It might be a good time to run as a Republican for a Judge position...(wish I qualified)
LAS CRUCES - The case of a Doña Ana County district court judge accused of bribery to gain appointment to his seat is stirring a political furor.
Some Democrats argue that the political ambitions of 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler, a Republican, are grounds to question his prosecution of suspended Doña Ana County District Court Judge Mike Murphy, a Democrat. They also say it's an effort by Republican leaders to secure another seat on the District Court bench, by allowing GOP Gov. Susana Martinez to select a replacement, and cast doubt on judicial appointments made by former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.
However, Martinez and Chandler deny that politics are at play.
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