Ethic commission bill heads to New Mexico governor

By – Associated Press – Saturday, March 16, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Legislature has passed a bill to establish an independent state ethics commission for complaints about the conduct of public officials.

A final Senate vote on Friday capped weeks of public hearings and backroom negotiations and sends the bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for consideration.

The creation of the seven-member commission was authorized by statewide vote in November 2018. That came in the wake of a series of high-profile public corruption scandals.

Detailed workings of the commission were left up to the Legislature and governor.

The bill limits the commission’s subpoena powers to requests authorized by a specially appointed judge. Complaint wouldn’t be made public until 30 days after a probable-cause finding to allow time for a settlement. Criminal violations may be referred to state and local prosecutors.

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