A New Mexico legislative committee plans to start spadework next week on impeachment proceedings against embattled Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who is accused of funneling campaign contributions to personal bank accounts. No public official has been impeached in state history. Impeachment proceedings were started 10 years ago against state Treasurer Robert Vigil and again in 2011 against Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. In each case, the process was halted after the officials resigned their posts. Democratic Rep. Ken Martinez of Grants co-chaired the Vigil impeachment panel and tells the Albuquerque Journal that impeachment proceedings are grave and “very difficult.”
The two-term secretary of state is facing more than five dozen counts stemming from allegations that she funneled some $13,000 in campaign contributions to personal bank accounts and withdrew large sums of money while frequenting casinos around the state.
Aside from her attorney saying she would fight the charges in court, Duran has remained silent and has kept away from her office in Santa Fe as pressure mounts for her to resign and state lawmakers take steps toward possible impeachment proceedings.
Gov. Susana Martinez would not las week if she planned to call lawmakers back for a special session. However, she described the charges against Duran as concerning. “If the allegations are true, she needs to resign,” the governor said.