The New Mexico secretary of state, who oversees campaign finance reporting and once bemoaned a “culture of corruption” in the state, has been accused of using her election fund as a personal piggy bank at jewelry stores, ATMs and casinos. Secretary of State Dianna K. Duran already faces allegations of financial crimes, stemming from a separate August indictment. Late Friday, the New Mexico attorney general’s office alleged in a criminal complaint that Duran also falsified campaign finance reports by forging the name of a former state Senate colleague and claiming him as her campaign treasurer. The onetime colleague, Don Kidd, a banker in southeast New Mexico, denied any involvement with Duran’s campaigns in 2010 and 2014.
When asked by an investigator with the attorney general’s office why she would list him as treasurer, Kidd replied, according to the complaint, “Well, I have no idea. I just don’t know, that’s amazing.”
Duran faces 64 charges related to fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. The attorney general’s office alleged that she frequented casinos across the state, withdrawing $430,000 between 2013 and 2014 from her personal accounts while also depositing campaign funds into her personal accounts.
A 65th charge, identity theft, was added Friday after Kidd’s interview with an investigator. Duran’s attorney could not be reached for comment Saturday.