Saturday, March 6, 2010

Former Elections Chief Alleges Corruption in Secretary of State's Office

New Mexico’s top elections official and her deputy have engaged in rampant impropriety at the Secretary of State’s Office during the past year, according to AJ Salazar, who resigned Feb. 26 as the Office’s bureau of elections director. In Salazar’s resignation letter, obtained by the SUN un-edited and un-redacted, he alleges Secretary of State Mary Herrera: • ordered exempt employees at a meeting held during work hours to obtain 1,000 petition signatures each for her re-election bid “in violation of election laws,” • protected a politically connected IT employee from termination who allegedly hacked into the office’s network, • failed to properly store voting machines to be used in the upcoming election, and • pulled back legislation that would have brought transparency to the office’s Confidential Address Program. Salazar also implicated Deputy Secretary Don Francisco Trujillo in some of these activities and accused him of undercutting Salazar’s authority by creating a contradictory chain of command within the more

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