SANTA FE – A woman already facing voter fraud charges stemming from Española’s 2016 municipal election was indicted Thursday for additional charges accusing her of new improprieties in the recent 2018 election.
A Rio Arriba County grand jury indicted Laura Seeds, the wife of District 4 Española city councilor and 2018 mayoral candidate Robert Seeds, on counts of committing intimidation in a municipal election, coercion of voters and disturbing a polling place. Her husband lost the mayor’s race March 6 to restaurant owner Javier Sanchez.
The new indictment, on two fourth-degree felonies and one petty misdemeanor, does not include specifics of what Laura Seeds is accused of doing. But all of the charges state the alleged crimes were committed on or around March 2, the last day of early voting.
All of the charges against Seeds are being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office. AG’s spokesperson Matt Baca said he couldn’t provide information on the new counts beyond what’s in the indictment.
Española City Clerk Anna Squires told the Journal Thursday she also couldn’t comment beyond providing a list of several statutes from the state Election Handbook that she said she referenced in conversations with the Secretary of State’s office in the case.
Squires said she is working with the AG’s Office and confirmed that Seeds did make contact with her concerning allegations against her, in a call the AG’s Office documented in a recent motion accusing Seeds of violating her current conditions of release. She was arraigned in February on the voter fraud counts related to the 2016 election, when Robert Seeds won the District 4 City Council seat by two votes.
The charges against Laura Seed in that case include 10 charges of possession of another person’s absentee ballot, one count of conspiracy to violate the municipal election code and two counts of making false statements. She was released on her own recognizance March 13, with conditions including that she not contact any potential witnesses.
Documents filed by the AG’s Office allege Seeds violated the release terms when she called City Clerk Squires recently and asked her what she’d told the Attorney General’s Office, apparently in reference to whatever happened on March 2 that led to Seeds’ new charges.
Seeds said she would have no comment when reached by phone Thursday, but she did call the new charges “ridiculous” and said a grand jury would indict a dog.
A hearing for the AG’s Office request to revoke Seeds’ conditions of release and her arraignment for the most recent indictment are both scheduled for next Tuesday.