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:
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