House Speaker Names Special Committee To Investigate Charges Against Secretary Of State

STATE News:

SANTA FE – House Speaker Don Tripp announced the members of the Special Committee, which will investigate charges against Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

The Special Committee, which is made up of 10 members – five from each party:

  • Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Albuquerque);
  • Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque);
  • Rep. Zach Cook (R-Ruidoso);
  • Rep. Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque);
  • Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Belen);
  • Javier Martinez (R-Albuquerque);
  • Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque);
  • Rep. Patricio Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Tomás Salazar (D-Las Vegas); and
  • Rep. Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces). 

Rep. Chasey and Rep. Cook will serve as co-chairs.

“One of the heaviest burdens the House of Representatives carries is determining whether to overturn the results of an election. As we begin to conduct an independent analysis of the evidence against Secretary of State Duran, it is critical that the Special Committee I have appointed approaches this difficult task with the solemnity it deserves,” Speaker Tripp said.

As was the case in the investigation of State Treasurer Robert Vigil in 2005 and Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr. in 2011, the Special Committee will investigate and make recommendations on whether the House should consider the impeachment of the Secretary of State for alleged crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office. 

In conducting this investigation, the Special Committee will need to determine whether the alleged incidents might be properly considered the subject of an impeachment investigation and whether any of them are supported by evidence that warrants impeachment.

“My expectation is that these members will put partisan politics aside as they follow a process that is fair and unbiased,” Speaker Tripp continued. “Their responsibility will be to make a recommendation to the full House after evaluating the evidence to determine whether it supports taking the extraordinary step of impeaching a popularly elected official.”

The decision about who will serve on this committee was made by Speaker Tripp after discussing the minority members with House Minority Floor Leader Brian Egolf.

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