A judge has dismissed corruption charges against former New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron after ruling that repeated delays violated her right to a speedy trial. Second Judicial District Judge Reed Sheppard ruled late Wednesday that Vigil-Giron did nothing to cause the delays other than file one motion asking the state attorney general’s office to be disqualified, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Vigil-Giron issued a statement saying she felt vindicated and plans a return to the public arena. She served two terms as secretary of state and left office in 2006.
“She has steadfastly requested her day in court because she was confident that there was not a shred of real evidence against her,” said the statement released by her attorney, Bob Gorence. Vigil-Giron was emotional when informed of the decision, Gorence told the newspaper.
Vigil-Giron and three co-defendants — Elizabeth and Joe Kupfer of Rio Rancho and Armando Gutierrez of Corpus Christi, Texas — were each charged in 2009 with 50 counts, including conspiracy, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and soliciting or paying a kickback.
The charges stemmed from $6 million in contracts that Vigil-Giron negotiated with Gutierrez to produce commercials using federal money from the Help America Vote Act. Joe Kupfer was a consultant to Gutierrez.
Full Article: Charges dismissed against ex-secretary of state – SFGate.