Saturday, February 1, 2003
3 More Secretaries, State Engineer OK'd
Journal Staff Report
SANTA FE The Senate on Friday overwhelmingly confirmed four of Gov. Bill Richardson's nominees to top state posts.
John Denko, a veteran police officer who has served as Santa Fe police chief and chief of the State Police, as secretary of the Department of Public Safety.
Jan Goodwin, former director of the state Board of Finance, as secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department.
John d'Antonio Jr., former secretary of the Environment Department, as state engineer.
Edward Lopez Jr., former state vice president and general manager of U S West, as secretary of the General Services Department.
The confirmations were unanimous, except for that of Denko, who was confirmed on a 33-1 vote.
Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, cast the only vote against Denko's confirmation.
Sanchez, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the Richardson administration's refusal to release a copy of Denko's job application was the primary reason he voted against the confirmation.
Senate Majority Leader Manny Aragon, D-Albuquerque, joked that senators' comments about Denko were otherwise so favorable that a tape of the floor debate should be submitted to the Vatican so that Denko could become a saint.
"This is getting pretty sticky on the floor with the honey running down the aisles," Aragon said.