Thursday, July 19, 2012

Journal Wrong...Again

In its continuing effort to discredit or otherwise misrepresent the work of the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, the Albuquerque Journal today editorialized that AG King should drop any investigation into the Governor's Office like a hot political potato.  Unfortunately, the paper either cites incorrect "facts" or simply employs its favorite smear-by-innuendo tactic to make its points.

Let's start at the bottom of the Journal's editorial and work our way up.

The paper states that, "King has a rash of unfinished cases around."  Of course, there is no mention of which cases, or more importantly, why they are still unresolved. I'll take a wild guess and say that one of those the Journal is referring to is the Region 3  Housing Authority case...first indicted in 2009.  Between the two separate cases there have been more than 20 Defense motions, including two motions to disqualify the AGO. Consequently, two appellate court decisions upheld the AG's right to prosecute the cases.  Those delays should rightly be attributed to the Defense...not the Attorney General.  In fact, we have been ready take the cases to trial since 2009. But somehow the Journal is determined to continue to say that these and other cases are 'languishing' because of something the AGO is or isn't doing.  Apparently the real reasons do not fit the script though.

Next up, the Journal's contention that AG King's
"conflict of interest" has led to major delays and "seriously jeopardized" the corruption case against Rebecca Vigil-Giron.  Nowhere does the Journal mention that the judge in this case expressly and unequivocally said in his official order that:

  1. The Court finds no intentional wrongdoing on the part of the Office of Attorney General;
  2. The Court finds that the prosecution was not motivated by vindictiveness or with a political purpose; 

In non-legalese...the judge could not find any real conflicts. But once again, the Journal refuses to rely on factual information, in this case, from the judge himself.

Now, to the meat of the Journal's visceral reaction to the Attorney General looking into possible wrongdoing in the Governor's Office. The paper once again trots out the conflict horse saying AG King, "can't see the conflict-of-interest forest for the political-advantage trees."  I am not sure if it was a mistake, but the editorial then states that it is indeed the Attorney General's job to, "represent the state and investigate allegations about public agencies and actions of public employees."  And in the same breath the editorial says if the AG does deign to investigate, he opens himself up to more criticism than usual (ostensibly from the Journal) for being politically motivated because of his political plans.

But saving the best for last, the Journal posits that AG King should finish investigating and prosecuting other cases and not bother the Governor, i.e.,"...leave any investigation of the incumbent's administration to others."  Seriously?  If memory serves, the Journal frothily advocated investigating former Governor Bill Richardson for any perceived infraction the paper could gin up.  But not this time, not by this Attorney General anyway.

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