Gov. Susana Martinez dismissed complaints that have led to an FBI investigation of her top political operative, speaking publicly Monday afternoon for the first time in person to reporters about the matter since it rocked news headlines over the weekend. In doing so, she acknowledged to reporters that federal authorities had talked with her and members of her staff. She also told reporters that she has talked with Jay McCleskey about the investigation which reportedly is looking into money that he controlled. “I speak to him every day,” Martinez said. “And when I talk to him—he’s working right now, I’m working right now, we’re moving forward, we’re doing our thing.”
Martinez kept her comments short following an unrelated press conference in the Albuquerque Northeast Heights announcing job expansions of Skorpios Technologies, a tech company that creates photonic integrated circuits.
Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg is asking the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office to investigate a complaint alleging that a state official committed perjury by claiming the governor’s office had no role in the makeup of a committee that evaluated bids for a racino lease. An EXPO New Mexico spokeswoman dismisses the allegations as “the same regurgitated accusations by a radical left wing activist whose allegations have been consistently discredited.”
The complaint, filed last month to Brandenburg and State Auditor Tim Keller by private investigator Michael Corwin, accuses EXPO New Mexico Executive Director Dan Mourning of lying in a sworn affidavit. Keller referred the complaint to Brandenburg’s office earlier this month. Corwin, who’s done opposition research for a number of New Mexico Democrats including former Gov. Bill Richardson, formerly ran a political committee critical of Gov. Susana Martinez and particularly what has become known as the Downs deal. Mourning wrote the affidavit in question in July 2013 when the State Auditor, then Hector Balderas, was investigating the awarding to the Downs at Albuquerque of a 25-year racetrack and casino lease on state fairgrounds, which EXPO manages.