Friday, May 20, 2011

Corruption Cases


I must admit I was a bit vexed by part of the following reporting in a television news story last night about how former Secretary of State Vigil-Giron may now be facing a federal investigation to "...
see if former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron misused or helped steal millions of dollars in federal funding.

News 13 has learned a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in the case.

But the state case faces a deadline. The attorney general's office has one month to hand the case over to an outside prosecutor to avoid a conflict of interest or the judge might dismiss the charges."

The highlighting above is my own in order to clarify a very important point. The judge in this case was very explicit in saying there was no evidence of a conflict of interest by the Attorney General's Office, only the possibility of a perception of a conflict. One might think I am picking nits here but this is how inaccurate beliefs get started. It is conceivable that someone not familiar with the case would gather that the AGO had a "conflict of interest" and that's why the case was removed from its direct control. The judge clearly stated that there could be a perception or cloud that could arise over the proceedings and based upon that belief, he felt it would be better to have some other prosecutor go forward with the case. We have steadfastly maintained that there is no such conflict. 

In all fairness, I expect it was just an oversight in the report. That is partly why I started this correct potential misconceptions. 

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