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Mon Dec 14, 2015, 02:22 PM

Former NM Sec of State receives 30 days of a 7.5-year sentence

A Santa Fe district judge sentenced former Secretary of State Dianna Duran to 30 days in jail, five years of supervised probation and to pay restitution for misusing campaign funds to pay off casino debts.
She must also write a letter of apology to each person and hand deliver the letters.

She is also required to continue counseling and therapy for gambling addiction and she is prohibited from entering casinos or racetracks. She will be ordered to wear a GPS monitor for three years--two if there are no violations.

The judge also ordered Duran to write a letter of apology to the people of New Mexico. The letter must be published in no less than six publications throughout the state.

For community service, the court ordered her to serve 2,000 hours over the next five years. She will also be required to give four public appearances each month for the next three years to schools and other groups.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3991459.shtml?cat=500#.Vm8JaeKDDIX

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Reply Former NM Sec of State receives 30 days of a 7.5-year sentence (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Dec 2015 OP
valerief Dec 2015 #1
TygrBright Dec 2015 #3
SheilaT Dec 2015 #2
TygrBright Dec 2015 #4
left-of-center2012 Dec 2015 #5

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 02:38 PM

1. Makes sense. At least she wasn't selling cigarettes on the street.

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Response to valerief (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:05 PM

3. Given the extent to which they attempted to put the fix in, it was better than we expected.

They bargained sixty-five charges down to six, which clearly annoyed the judge.

He (the judge) went pretty far beyond the bargain the defense and the State had proffered, too, and when the defense started to whinge about it, he pushed hard back.

The initial plea deal proffered would have included no jail time, no fine, no restitution beyond a comparatively small repayment, and no electronic monitoring.

When he parsed out the sentence, he did not mince words about the "why" for each item, and made it very clear that he was taking it as far as the NM code permitted. And he explicitly addressed the issue of public trust and abuse of the campaign funding process (they bargained out all the charges related to her service as Secretary of State, so he couldn't go there directly without risking a higher court review.)

His explanation of the sentence used clear language that indicates this judge is very knowledgeable about addiction-- he referred to her attempts to "rationalize" and "minimize" what she did and its effects. All of the restitution provisions as well as a couple of the punishment provisions, had a clear purpose in pushing her towards the kind of change that addicts need to make.

Would I like to see her nose rubbed in the sleaze perpetrated while she was serving as Secretary of State? Hell yes. But the State (GOPpie Goob and lege, at the moment, plus Susana Tejana's had nearly five years to "encourage" turnover and pack the bureaucracy) chose to accept the plea bargain that trashed those charges.

I can kind of understand some of the "why"-- getting together the evidence and making the case, in this environment, could have exposed and eliminated the few remaining uncorrupted or marginally-corrupted bureaucrats in the relevant offices, for one thing, and cost the taxpayers BIG bucks, for another. (And we don't have a whole lotta taxpayer bucks floating around at the moment, with the oil revenues so far off.) And still not guaranteed an outcome that would have rubbed her and her handlers' noses in it.

So this judge did his best by us.

She still has the option of repudiating the bargain, but the judge made it very clear that would re-open the whole can of worms.

Just another day in one America's most corrupt states...

wearily,
Bright

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:01 PM

2. No mention of taking away her pension.

 

Those of you not in NM may not realize that Dianna Duran was first elected in 2010, the first Republican to hold that office in something like 80 years, because her predecessors hadn't been all that terrific, and she promised to bring dignity to the office. One of the first things she did was send something like 60,000 names of voters to the state AG she thought were guilty of some kind of voter fraud.

No fraud uncovered.

Various other incompetencies, including naming someone as her campaign treasurer, who did no such thing, and forging signatures on checks written to other people, but then deposited into her own accounts. She got re-elected last year, and then was caught withdrawing several hundred thousand dollars of campaign money from ATMs at various casinos.

She's been completely unrepentant, says she's done a good job, not much money is at stake anyway, blames the casinos for their predatory behavior, and as begged not to have her pension taken away. It should be. An example needs to be set, but this state is so flaming corrupt at all levels, it probably won't be. I am rather amazed at this sentence, because it really is pretty harsh, considering how many people in her position get off scot-free.

Wish she were serving at least six months in jail.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 03:06 PM

4. We (the people of NM) lucked out with this judge. n/t

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Mon Dec 14, 2015, 10:50 PM

5. Rachel Maddow reported on this tonight

She did a very good segment hitting all the high (low?) points.

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