September 11, 2015

Mo’ money problems for Maestas

Screenshot from KOB-TV report on Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas

It turns out that $4,000 that a state Representative failed to report wasn’t the full amount.

Screenshot from KOB-TV report on Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas

Screenshot from KOB-TV report on Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, actually failed to report $11,170 in campaign contributions. The added on to the original report by KOB-TV last week on the campaign finance violations.

The Journal said that Maestas found the additional unreported donations after the report by the TV station.

From Friday’s Journal report:

In addition to adding 26 contributions to his campaign finance reports, Maestas amended reports to provide further detail for three separate $1,000 campaign expenditures. In those cases, the money went directly to Maestas for what he said was reimbursement for cash payments to campaign workers for signs and literature drops.

That raises the question of whether the expenditures complied with a state law that requires disbursements from campaign accounts – except those of $100 or less from a petty cash fund – to be done by check. posted documents related to the violations including his letter to the office of Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

In the letter, Maestas disclosed the additional problems.

From the letter:

On Thursday, September 3, 2015, an Albuquerque TV reporter informed me of eight discrepancies in my reports in relation to other reports. Friday and yesterday I was able to work with my bank and tracked down seven of the aforementioned checks (an eight [sic] check was actually an error on another report). In tracking down these checks I discovered other contributions that were not reported. All reports have been updated with these findings.

Maestas is not a newcomer to the Legislature. He has been in the Legislature since 2007.

According to the Journal, a spokesman for the Secretary of State said that Maestas’ campaign finance reports are being reviewed to the office’s ethics staff.

The Secretary of State randomly reviews ten percent of all campaign finance reports for violations. Maestas’ reports were not among that ten percent.