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UNM Foundation visited by AG special agents

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state Attorney General’s Office dispatched special agents to the University of New Mexico Foundation headquarters Wednesday as part of a longstanding investigation initiated after revelations UNM used public funds for an overseas golf trip fundraiser.

Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office acknowledged the agents’ presence at the foundation’s office building but would not say what exactly they were doing or if they had visited the office before Wednesday, referring only to the larger, ongoing probe.

The UNM Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that raises, invests and manages private donations to benefit the institution. It considers itself independent of the university, and has an off-campus office near Lomas and Interstate 25.

“The public is aware that the Office of the Attorney General has an open investigation relating to UNM, and we can confirm special agents are on the scene at the UNM Foundation,” attorney general spokesman David Carl said in a written statement Wednesday. “We cannot provide any updates or comment on the status of that investigation at this time.”

Asked about Wednesday’s activity, a UNM Foundation spokeswoman said the AG’s office “requested to review Foundation records” as part of an ongoing investigation.

“The UNM Foundation and its staff are pleased to cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s office and staff,” Jennifer Kemp said in a written statement.

Balderas in May 2017 announced his office would begin a “formal inquiry into the actions of public officials employed by UNM” in relation to a 2015 athletic department fundraising trip to Scotland. Media had discovered UNM used public money for part of the trip, and then-Athletic Director Paul Krebs subsequently acknowledged that about $25,000 of the $65,000 in public funding was used to help pay costs for private donors.

Balderas has since dramatically broadened the scope of the investigation, including matters like UNM’s handling of sexual assault cases, but has provided little detail about the progress. Balderas said last month there was no timetable for its completion.