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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.
    Senators approved:
   
  • 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.