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.
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:
Meanwhile...Diane Feinstein walks.