Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry
SANTA FE – Legislation that will crack down on corrupt government officials by toughening penalties passed the House floor Monday by a unanimous vote.
The legislation, sponsored by Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry, can add as much as one additional year of jail time for government officials and government employees convicted of felony corruption offenses.
“We need to send a clear message: Government corruption will not be tolerated,” Gentry said. “Corruption is a serious crime and those charged with it should have to pay the appropriate consequences.”
In addition, the legislation bans corrupt officials from lobbying or contracting with the state, making it a third-degree felony if they attempt to do so. It would also require the posting of felony corruption offenses at government offices.
“This is about restoring the trust people should have in their government, but also this legislation will save taxpayers a great deal of money. I hope that the Senate will take this up as soon as possible,” Gentry said.
During the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions, similar legislation passed 68-0 and 41-26, respectively. A recent Albuquerque Journal poll found that 79 percent of New Mexicans saw corruption as a serious issue.