Secretary Of State Dianna Duran Has Resigned

Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran spoke at a dinner in 2014 at the Los Alamos Research Park. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Secretary of State Dianna Duran resigned her post Thursday evening.

An email was sent out by the Democratic Party of New Mexico around 1 a.m. today saying “In light of Secretary Duran’s resignation on Thursday evening, the Office of the Secretary of State has cancelled the rule making hearings scheduled for the morning of Friday, October 23, 2015. As the governor is charged with appointing a Secretary of State, it is appropriate that he or she have the opportunity to shape the policy and rules of the office in order to successfully administer not only campaign finance, but also every other aspect of the office. Accordingly, the hearings are not being rescheduled at this time.”

Duran appeared in court today, where she agreed to a plea deal in which her attorney is asking for probation.

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced in a statement several weeks ago that Duran took campaign donations for personal use and was found to have gambled thousands of dollars at New Mexico casinos. She faced fraud, embezzlement and identity theft charges.

Today, Balderas released the following statement regarding Duran:

“I am pleased that Dianna Duran has resigned from office and plead guilty to felony embezzlement, money laundering, and violations of the Campaign Reporting Act. Dianna Duran’s admission of guilt will allow the State of New Mexico to move forward.

“Ms. Duran must pay restitution to victims and under the terms of the plea there is 8 ½ years of jurisdiction and sentencing that is at the discretion the court. After today, citizens can be confident that Dianna Duran will no longer have supervisory control of public funds or the reporting process within the Secretary of State’s Office.

“I am hopeful that this resolution will begin to rebuild the public trust and compel the new leadership to improve oversight and compliance in our campaign finance system and electoral process. My office will continue to prosecute individuals who violate the public trust.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14, 2015. Until that sentencing takes place, it is inappropriate for the Attorney General to comment further.

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