Recover password

Feds subpoena records for governor’s travel, pay as DA

GOV. MARTINEZ

GOV. MARTINEZ

SANTA FE, N.M. — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed travel, pay and other records for Gov. Susana Martinez covering her final months in 2010 as state district attorney for Doña Ana County.

The subpoena was issued to the Doña Ana County DA’s Office in September and also sought records for Amy Orlando, whom Martinez appointed to succeed her as district attorney after her election as governor, and for Aaron “Kip” Scarborough, who worked as an investigator in the DA’s Office under Martinez and Orlando.

The Doña Ana County DA’s Office provided a copy of the subpoena Monday in response to a public-records request from the Journal.

Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez said in a written statement:

“The Governor has not received a target letter, and she is not the target of an investigation. She has not testified before a grand jury, and has not hired a lawyer. The subpoena frankly underscores our previous statements that any investigation is based on the same old tired allegations made by opponents with an ax to grind.”

Martinez’s campaign did reimburse the DA’s Office in January 2011 for more than $1,200 in campaign-related cellphone charges, Sanchez said.

The Journal reported Nov. 10 that Martinez’s top political adviser, Jay McCleskey, is also facing a federal grand jury investigation that, at least in part, involves how money was raised and spent for Martinez’s inaugural celebration after her 2010 election. She was re-elected in 2014.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Neda is involved in both the investigation of McCleskey and the investigation involving the subpoena for Martinez records. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque said that as a matter of law and policy, the office cannot comment on grand jury proceedings.

McCleskey has declined to comment on the investigation, but Martinez has said she is confident that he has done nothing wrong.

Orlando, who lost an election bid for district attorney in 2012 and now works for the Martinez administration as general counsel for the Department of Public Safety, and Scarborough couldn’t be reached for comment on the subpoena issued to the Doña Ana County DA’s Office.

The subpoena sought records for Martinez, Orlando and Scarborough for Oct. 1, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011. Martinez, a Republican, was elected governor in November 2010 and took office Jan. 1, 2011. Orlando, who served as chief deputy to Martinez, became district attorney upon the governor’s swearing-in.

For all three, the subpoena sought records for time worked, leave taken, pay, expenses, travel, use of government vehicles, fueling of government vehicles and use of government credit cards. The subpoena also sought records related to database checks requested by Martinez, Orlando and Scarborough.

In a profile on Martinez published in April 2014, Mother Jones magazine quoted an unidentified former Martinez staffer as saying her 2010 campaign recorded license plate numbers of cars for opposition trackers and sent the numbers to a DA’s Office investigator who had access to law enforcement databases. In one instance, a campaign aide allegedly took a photo of a license plate of a car with an anti-Martinez bumper sticker and emailed it to the investigator.

Patrick Hayes, a spokesman for the Doña Ana County DA’s Office, said the office delivered 100 to 300 pages of records to the FBI in response to the subpoena. Hayes said District Attorney Mark D’Antonio hasn’t appeared before a grand jury and hasn’t been told of the nature of the criminal investigation.

Hayes said that as far as he knew, the office had no problems producing the documents sought by the subpoena.

After taking over as district attorney, D’Antonio, a Democrat, accused Orlando, a Republican, of destroying electronic documents. The Attorney General’s Office began a criminal investigation last year. An AG’s Office spokesman said Monday that the matter remains under review. Orlando has called the allegations baseless.

The New Mexican newspaper of Santa Fe reported on the subpoena Sunday.

TOP |