Skip to comments.Manny Aragon, three others indicted in kickback scheme (Prominent NM Democrat Politicos)
Posted on 03/29/2007 3:41:56 PM PDT by CedarDave
Four people were indicted Thursday in an alleged kickback scheme thats at the core of the debate over the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
Former state Senate President Pro Tem Manny Aragon, Toby Martinez, Raul Parra and Sandra Mata Martinez all face charges.
The U.S. attorneys office in Albuquerque says Marc Schiff, Ken Schultz and Manuel Guara had already entered guilty pleas in the case.
Investigators say the kickbacks were related to the construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse in Albuquerque.
Iglesias believes he was fired as the federal prosecutor for New Mexico for resisting pressure from Senator Pete Domenici and Representative Heather Wilson, both New Mexico Republicans, to rush indictments in an alleged Democratic kickback scheme before the November election.
Stay with Eyewitness News 4 and KOBTV.com for complete coverage of this developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ken Schultz Buick-GMC?
New Mexico has a serious culture of corruption, and it always seems to be from one particular party.
Manny Aragon finally got caught. Good news.
Feds indict Aragón, others
Source: KRQE News 13
ALBUQUERQUE -- Former Senate President Manny Aragón and former Albuquerque Mayor Ken Shultz are among seven people indicted for alleged corruption in the construction of the Metro Court building in Albuquerque.
Aragón was one of four people indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday while Shultz and two other people have already pleaded guilty to crimes in the design and construction of the courthouse.
The U.S. Attorney's office said state taxpayers lost more than $4 million in the design and construction of the project thanks to the alleged wrongdoing of Aragón, Metro Court Administrator Toby Martinez. Martinezs wife, Sandra Mara Martinez, and engineering firm partner Raul Parra.
The have all been indicted on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, those four people schemed with others to defraud the state during the building of downtown's metro courthouse through kickbacks and padded contracts.
Federal prosecutors have already reached plea agreements with a subcontractor named Manuel Guara, project architect Mark Schiff and Schultz who worked as a lobbyist for one of the project contractors.
The corruption case is already sparking strong reaction from state leaders in Santa Fe especially in regard to the indictment of Democrat political strongman Aragón.
I'm really sad, Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said. This is a bad day for the New Mexico Legislature that somebody who led us for 20 years is having these kinds of problems.
We hope that everything is done according to the law and that these indictments are not politically influenced.
The FBI forwarded the high-profile and publicly known case to the U.S. Attorney's office last October.
Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias recently testified before Congress that he refused to rush the indictments despite alleged political pressure from Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, and his House colleague, Rep. Heather Wilson. Both Domenici and Wilson admitted calling Iglesias to inquire about the case in the weeks before the November election, but both have denied doing so to pressure Iglesias.
Schiff, Schultz, and Guara all entered their plea agreements earlier this year.
The three men will be sentenced sometime in the future.
He knew about this for months and months before the election. He was hired to clean up the corruption in NM politics and he failed to do it in anywhere near a timelt matter. He could have indicted these folks a year ago. He deserved what he got.
I just wish that the state of New Mexico would change its name to something else. Something more "American." I really dislike the name and I don't even live there.
It's about time!
I wonder if Iglesias will join Aragon's defense team. . .
These are DEMOCRATS! Therefore, there CANNOT be any corruption! Nothing to see here. Move along. All is well. Harry and Nancy told us so. < sarcasm off >.
This is true, but doesn't mean squat to the Defeatocrats who want to smear Bush and anyone conneceted to him.
It is appropriate however as you can see we are a third world country.
The license plates do say "New Mexico USA", just so there's no confusion.
Maybe the whole state will be named after Bill Richardson, like Byrd in WV writ large.
Did you get pinged on this?
New Mexico is mostly Hispanic and has been forever....a heaven for Gringos with money and artists.
I thought Aragon was King of Gondor.....man, this has been a long day.......
Didn't get a ping, thanks for thinking of me. Clintfatigued, would you add me to your NM ping list please?
I love it!!! Iglesias gets canned for NOT doing his job, and the mealy-mouthed dems "Hope there is not political influence."...sometimes I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole!
Discussion of the indictments by Channel 13 reporter and political analyst:
New Mexico was named as a geographical balance for "New England".
Listen to the KRQE discussion in post #20. There may be more indictments coming for the Federal courthouse construction.
Reminds me of my State Senate where nearly 1/3rd of the rodent members of the past 2-3 years are either under indictment, currently on trial, or in prison. I'd think if you were a U.S. Attorney in NM, you'd literally be in hog heaven having to decide which corrupt rodent to go after, it's like a termite invasion. Iglesias is trying to cover his ass with regards to his incompetence.
I just listened to the KRQE discussion...very interesting.
Farmington to New Hampshire? What a change.
Best news here in New Mexico I've heard all day! It's about time Manny Aragon got knocked off his high horse and come back to reality...same with Iglesias...
RAT corruption in our state!?! Who would have thought?
He [Iglesias] knew about this for months and months before the election. He was hired to clean up the corruption in NM politics and he failed to do it in anywhere near a timelt matter. He could have indicted these folks a year ago. He deserved what he got.
Watch for Iglesias to jump onto all the cable channels and claim credit for the investigation! And the DBM will eat it up!
It was 42% Hispanic in the 2000 Census, although that will probably creep up a bit by 2010.
Aragon is not really a surprise, but Schults too? All the folks who bought cars from his dealership should go back and read the fine print on their contract. LOL
I'll bet you are right on the mark with that comment. He'll say something like that's what he was working on but it wasn't ready yet for taking to the grand jury. And to think there was talk that Iglesias was going to be a future Republican candidate. I bet he changes to a Democrat and goes to work on King Bill's campaign.
Another piece of the puzzle...
It's a wonderful place, and the name fits it. We lived there two years and loved almost every minute of it. I just wish the place wasn't so corrupt. Then again, I can't think of an uncorrupt place . . .
New Mexico: New Jersey with dry weather and a crappy economy.
I agree that Iglesias will be all over the DBM about this, but I think that instead of trying to take credit for it, he'll try to cut the legs out from under it by saying he knew it was solely a political prosecution, that he saw no evidence of any wrongdoing by these saintly democrat public servants, and that his refusal to play along and try to imprison innocent men was the reason he was fired.
Good heavens, we look at the middle east and see what a horrible problem bribes and corruption create and it seems to me that it is on the increase exponentially here.
I'm just too discouraged to think about this right now.
New Mexico was majority Hispanic from statehood until the late 1940s, when Los Alamos brought in the scientists and cheap land brought in the Texans. Has only been majority non-Hispanic since that time, and Hispanics have had a plurality since the late 80s/early 90s.
I can't disagree there.
Is this activity new, or is the revelation of it??
I know of a state where illegal aliens voted, you could buy yourself a position on the police department, and the local political bosses were gang members...
Of course, I am talking of New York in the mid-19th century.
The revelation is the Internet is bringing this up for all to see.
a way of life
I dont keep up with this stuff ...any of these folks in Bill Richardsons administration?
I've been half-paying attention tot he Senate hearings today on the Attorney firings.
This is the first I've seen this story. So is it first time reporting?
Someone will get fired for putting out news that explains Gonzales's actions favorably. /s
They are all "pals" from when Richardson was a Representative to now as Governor.
I haven't lived there (NM) for a few years, but I gather this news is not new. There is a lot of fishy stuff going on there that only gets attention there.
King Bill keeps it that way.