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Metro Beat: Keller hit with third ethics complaint

State Auditor and Albuquerque mayoral candidate Tim Keller is facing a third campaign finance ethics complaint, this one alleging that he failed to report debts or expenditures for the attorneys that have been helping his campaign address the other two ethics complaints filed against him.

State Auditor Tim Keller

Tim Keller

City candidates are required to file regular campaign finance reports with the city Clerk’s Office detailing money and in-kind contributions received as well as all campaign expenditures.

Private investigator Carlos McMahon also alleges in the complaint he filed with the city’s Board of Ethics & Campaign Practices on Thursday that Keller has “violated the donation limits,” although he doesn’t elaborate on that allegation.

The Keller campaign issued a scathing statement on the new complaint.

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“This last-ditch, baseless smear attack is politically motivated ax-grinding brought by a person indicted on multiple counts of … fraud and perjury and who has been repeatedly discredited,” said Jessie Hunt, Keller’s campaign spokeswoman.

Keller, who is running a publicly financed campaign, has previously been accused of directing that donors make contributions by check to a firm managing his campaign. Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, the former mayoral candidate who filed the ethics complaint, alleges that Keller broke the rules by doing that. Johnson also filed a second complaint that, among other things, alleges that the Keller campaign is coordinating with a political action committee backing his mayoral run, in violation of the rules governing publicly financed campaigns.

Keller has called both of those ethics complaints false, and he says that they’re politically motivated. Both of those complaints are pending.

Support for Keller: Keller has been endorsed by two former Albuquerque mayors, Martin Chávez and Jim Baca.

“It breaks my heart to see the crime in the city of Albuquerque,” Chávez said in a news release issued by the Keller campaign on Monday. “This is the most important job for the next mayor and it’s why I’m supporting Tim Keller. I’m pleased that the police officers are supporting Tim because we have to make this community safe.”

“Our challenges are too great to continue down the path we’ve been on and that’s why we need a change with Tim Keller to fight crime and create good jobs,” Baca said.

Martin Salazar: msalazar@abqjournal.com

 


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