Ethics investigation closed; it's time to move forward - Albuquerque Journal

Ethics investigation closed; it’s time to move forward

Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto

Following the 2022 regular legislative session, a complaint was filed against me before the Interim Legislative Ethics Committee (ILEC). That complaint, having been exhaustively investigated and fully debated by the Investigative Subcommittee, has been pending in a confidential process until a determination is made regarding whether probable cause exists to hold a public hearing on the merits.

Last week my attorney was informed that the current matter before the ILEC regarding the complaint is indefinitely suspended, with no further action to be taken. Despite the confidential nature of the process, over the last six months the complainant and her allies have repeatedly published selected information about the proceedings. However, statutory confidentiality remains in place; those provisions have not been waived. Accordingly, there will be no official announcement there was no finding of probable cause, meaning the matter is closed.

A question that arises is how do we move forward from here? Speaking for myself, I will be applying the lessons I learned from my late mother, who came to this country from Cuba following the revolution. This separation from her homeland was difficult, especially since my grandfather was still a political prisoner under the Castro regime. As a child, my mother taught my brother and I to forgive and not to hate. Her focus was always on the future, and she always sought to find the positive. Likewise, I believe the problems of New Mexico are too great to be hampered by personal antipathies. As such, I commit myself to working fairly with all people who would like to better our state, including those who have spoken out against me.

It is also important for all of us to remember our humanity, including our flaws and our challenges. For example, a lot has been made of the volume with which I communicate with people. While I need to be sensitive to the preferences of others when speaking, it is also important for others to be aware that I suffer from a hearing malady which prevents me from always hearing the lower tones in the spectrum. I am often unaware of how loud I may be speaking, and there are times when I cannot fully hear what is being said to me, causing me to give non-sequitur responses. Another example is that I, like other of my Senate colleagues, suffered abuse as a child and suffer from PTSD as an adult. This has been particularly true the last two legislative sessions, and for which I have devoted significant time and attention with medical professionals addressing those issues while still maintaining my duties and responsibilities to the constituents who elected me.

Do these conditions give me or anyone else carte blanche to behave any way we choose? Of course not. But just as we seek to accommodate the public, we need to remember the humanity of those who serve the public, as well, and provide appropriate accommodations for disabilities, seen and unseen.

To any person who may have taken offense or felt hurt when interacting with me, I sincerely apologize, and I am open to discussing such matters directly. It is my desire and commitment that we find a way to work together for the betterment of our great state and focus on the substantive work before us in Santa Fe.

Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is in his third term in Senate, having represented District 15 in the near-Northeast Heights for the past 10 years.

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