Q&A: Democratic candidate for auditor Zackary Quintero - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: Democratic candidate for auditor Zackary Quintero

Zackary Quintero

NAME: Zackary Quintero

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Consultant

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Professionally trained in economics, investigation and law. I graduated from UNM Law, worked for City of Santa Fe in the Economics department and recently finished serving as the federal ombudsman for New Mexico where I was responsible for investigating abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation on behalf of our seniors, veterans and ADA community.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Economics from New Mexico State University, and graduate from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: zqfornm@gmail.com

1. What would your top priorities be as state auditor?

My top priorities are: 1) Establish a dedicated fraud unit that protects seniors and adults with disabilities from predatory guardianships. 2) Create a real-time tracking system for federal and state dollars to ensure our money goes where promised. 3) Conduct cyber security audits to protect government entities from ransomware attacks/fraud.

2. What would be your criteria for determining when to launch a special audit?

This is a two-step process. I would first examine if there is a pattern with the entity reporting (late reporting, past conflicts of interest/insider dealing tips). The second part is to determine if there is a high-risk population such as seniors, children, or adults with disabilities that need immediate help.

3. If elected, how would you seek to curtail waste, fraud and financial abuse in New Mexico state and local governments?

Prevention and early detection of fraud will be a focus of my internal practices. I’ll do this by having a dedicated tracking system that details where our state and federal funds are going in real time. I will establish rolling unannounced audits of local and school district sole source contracts.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. 

When I was 16 I was arrested for building an Indiana Jones themed zip line on NMSU property. The university did not agree with that specific use of their land. The charges were later dropped. I later graduated from NMSU with honors.

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