NM’s $36 million Medicaid controversy rolls on

By Rob Nikolewski on October 24, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The long-running drama over allegations of misspent Medicaid dollars has been extended.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King on Thursday said his department’s investigation into charges of up to $36 million in potential fraud against 15 behavioral health-care providers will run for at least two more months.
“We [...]

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Former NM secretary of state on stolen voter education funds: ‘I did nothing wrong’

By Rob Nikolewski on August 20, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Three associates of former New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil have been convicted on charges related to $2.5 million in stolen voter education funds that were assigned to the state by the federal government.
But Vigil remains a free woman, unindicted in the federal case. State [...]

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Jason Marks drops out of AG’s race

By Rob Nikolewski on July 25, 2013

For now, Hector Balderas is the only Democrat running for the top law enforcement position in the state.
Opponent Jason Marks, who used to serve on the Public Regulation Commission, is suspending his campaign for state Attorney General.
From Milan Simonich of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership:
Marks, a Democrat from Albuquerque, said in an interview Thursday that he [...]

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Senate Democrats want Attorney General to weigh in on capital outlay flap

By Rob Nikolewski on July 12, 2013

The battle over capital outlay projects continues.
New Mexico Watchdog has learned that 11 Democrats in the state Senate have sent a letter to Attorney General Gary King asking his office to offer an opinion on an executive order that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed in early May.
In an attempt to get communities and entities that have [...]

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Democrats complain as capital outlay projects put on hold

By Rob Nikolewski on July 11, 2013

The executive order by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was clear: If you’re haven’t turned in your audits and can’t show you’re in decent financial shape, you don’t get any capital outlay money.
But now that some communities and entities slated for state dollars are seeing delays, a number of Democrats say the order is too restrictive and Senate Majority [...]

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Tim Keller will run for State Auditor in 2014, not Governor

By Rob Nikolewski on May 30, 2013

You can count state Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, out as a potential rival to Gov. Susana Martinez in 2014.
The 35-year-old who won a second term in what’s known as the International District in north-central Albuquerque in 2012, told New Mexico Watchdog Thursday afternoon (May 30) he’ll run for State Auditor in 2014.
“I think it’s a good fit [...]

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It’s dueling Democrats (so far) in race for Attorney General

By Rob Nikolewski on May 24, 2013

The top law enforcement position in the state is one of New Mexico’s most coveted elected offices but so far, only two Democrats and no Republicans have indicated they’ll run for New Mexico Attorney General.
Current State Auditor Hector Balderas and former Public Regulation Commission member Jason Marks have thrown their hats into the ring and figure to square off next [...]

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Financial mess in Sunland Park has cost NM taxpayers $250,000 … so far

By Rob Nikolewski on May 22, 2013

A year ago, a series of embarrassing scandals involving sex, lies and videotape made the New Mexico border town of Sunland Park the target of plenty of jokes, but there isn’t much for state taxpayers to laugh about as the bill for monitoring the border town’s finances pile up.
On the one-year anniversary of the announcement [...]

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Part 2 of NM’s audit crisis: No paperwork? Then you get no capital outlay goodies

By Rob Nikolewski on May 13, 2013

Government entities be warned: Fail to submit an audit to the state and say good-bye to some of that state money you want.
In Part 1 of our investigation into agencies, school districts, communities and other entities that haven’t turned in proper audits of taxpayer dollars they’ve received or spent, New Mexico Watchdog focused on the [...]

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New Mexico’s audit crisis and the Dirty 59: “A culture of a lack of accountability”

By Rob Nikolewski on May 8, 2013

By law, every organization in New Mexico that receives or spends public funds has to turn in an audit each year.
“If a government is going to spend taxpayer money they should be able to account and submit a full accounting of those activities every year,” State Auditor Hector Balderas said. “It’s a fundamental check and [...]

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