Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
What was to have been a signature case of public corruption by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office ended with a whimper this week when prosecutors dropped charges against the three remaining defendants.
“Nolle prosequi” pleadings were filed late Monday in the criminal cases against two attorneys – David Hernandez and Robert Strumor – and an accountant, Dennis Kennedy, who were associated with the now-defunct Region III Housing Authority. The case had been headed to a trial expected to last three weeks or longer before District Judge Ross Sanchez of Albuquerque next month.
Late last year, Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos, a former legislator who headed the housing authority, pleaded no contest to four misdemeanors, including attempt to commit a felony/paying or receiving public money for services not rendered. He was given a one-year probationary sentence with conditional discharge in the plea agreement.