October 23, 2015

Impeachment panel postponed after Duran’s resignation

Following the resignation of Dianna Duran the House Special Investigatory Committee looking into her impeachment will not meet on Tuesday as regularly scheduled.

State Reps. Zach Cook and Gail Chasey after the first House Special Investigatory Committee meeting.

House Special Investigatory Committee co-chairs  Zach Cook and Gail Chasey after the committee’s first meeting.

The panel was investigating whether or not the House should look into impeachment of Duran for the multiple charges she faced.

Duran pleaded guilty to six charges, including two felonies, on Friday. Hours earlier, Duran resigned from office.

Speaker of the House Don Tripp, R-Socorro, also issued a statement where he addressed the need for the panel—or lack thereof now that Duran is no longer in office.

“As was the case when Robert Vigil and Jerome Block, Jr. resigned while they were being investigated for possible impeachment, I believe her resignation has eliminated the need for the Special Investigative Committee to move forward with an investigation at this time,” Tripp said. “The Committee will, however, need to meet to wrap up its business and prepare a report to the House documenting the work they have done to this point.”

That meeting will not be on Tuesday, though.

Here is the full, short, statement from a staff attorney with Legislative Council Service.

In light of the resignation of the Secretary of State, effective October 22, 2015, the October 27th meeting of the House Special Investigatory Committee has been postponed. Information concerning a future meeting of the committee will be posted on the committee’s web page once it is available.

The impeachment panel had met just one time.

No statewide official has ever been impeached. Duran follows the lead of former State Treasurer Robert Vigil in resigning before the impeachment process could move forward from the committee process.

The committee had hired an attorney to look into the allegations against Duran.

Sentencing for Duran will take place in December. The terms of the plea deal say that Duran will face five years of probation, have to pay back $14,000 in restitution, avoid using public funds among other

The plea deal will allow Duran to keep her public pension.

First Judicial District Court Judge Glenn Ellington said that Duran would be able to withdraw her guilty pleas if he imposed jail time upon sentencing.