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Former Sen. Griego’s second public corruption trial set for September

SANTA FE, N.M. — The second trial in the public corruption prosecution of former state Sen. Phil Griego has been set for September 2018.

Griego faces sentencing in February after he was convicted of 5 of 8 public corruption charges in the first jury trial in November.

Former state Sen. Phil Griego testifying at his first public corruption trial in November. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

In that trial, Griego was found guilty of fraud, bribery and violating state ethics laws in connection with the 2014 sale of a historic state building near the Capitol, in which he pocketed a $50,000 commission as a real estate agent for the buyer. He faces more than a decade in prison.

Prosecutors also are seeking a sentencing enhancement under a rarely-used law that allows them to target a public official’s salary and fringe benefits earned during a period of criminal activity.

Prosecutors in front of 2nd District Court Judge Brett Loveless said Wednesday that time frame is about 1½ years from 2013 to 2015.

Griego, 69, who lives in rural San Miguel County, resigned from the Senate under the cloud of an ethics investigation in 2015, putting an end to his more than 18 years as a Democratic legislator.

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Prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office have filed a second case against Griego, this time claiming he pocketed money from his campaign account and lied about it on required reports. Griego could face up to 30 years in prison and $98,000 in fines on those charges.

Loveless set that trial for Sept. 24, 2018. It is expected to take about two weeks.

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