One of New Mexico’s highest-ranking state officials is expected to enter a plea Tuesday to charges that she funneled campaign contributions to her personal bank accounts and withdrew large sums of money at casinos. Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran is due in district court to be arraigned on 64 counts of embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and other charges. The charges involve a total of $13,000 in campaign donations. It will mark her first public appearance since the charges were leveled in a complaint more than two weeks ago. She has also been a no-show at her $85,000-a-year elected post with the exception of some conference calls with staff.
Duran’s attorney has vowed to fight the charges, but Duran has remained silent, making no statements or public appearances since being charged.
The allegations have sent shockwaves through political circles and raised questions about the enforcement of the state’s election and campaign finance reporting laws.
Calls for Duran to resign continue and a special committee of state lawmakers is expected to begin work this week as part of impeachment proceedings.
Full Article: New Mexico secretary of state due in court on fraud charges.