When the State Taxation and Revenue Department was in the process of auditing Bernalillo-based Harold’s Grading & Trucking, Secretary Demesia Padilla wanted to write an affidavit supporting tax deductions the company made in the past. This is according to an email recently released to New Mexico Political Report by the department as part of a public records request. Padilla is under investigation by the New Mexico Attorney General’s office for allegedly using her position to attempt to provide special treatment to a taxpayer for whom she previously did accounting work. State Auditor Tim Keller, whose office conducted a preliminary investigation into the matter, wouldn’t publicly identity the name of the taxpayer in question. However, a botched redaction from the tax department this summer revealed that it was Harold’s Trucking.
An audit of Department of Homeland Security funds used for a border program showed that some grant money went to funding overtime for upper management in the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s office. The audit of the use of funds by the sheriff’s office was conducted after a new sheriff was elected and “became aware of the issues.” The office of State Auditor Tim Keller released the forensic auditor’s report on Monday morning. The full report on the findings of the forensic audit is available at the bottom of this post. “The use of public funds along our border should be transparent and accounted for no differently than all other tax dollars that are spent in our state,” Keller said in a statement.
A leaked email from the state Taxation and Revenue Department last week was perhaps more transparent than the department intended. Update: The Taxation and Revenue Department responded. Here is the response. This story continues as originally written below. State Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla is currently under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office for allegedly providing or attempting special tax treatment to a former client for whom she served as a certified public accountant.