Screenshot Bill RIchardson

Bill Richardson explains the circumstances around a car crash in January during an interview with The New Mexican. New Mexican file photo.

Retired Santa Fe District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer will preside over a hit-and-run case against former Gov. Bill Richardson, replacing a municipal judge who recused herself earlier this month.

Santa Fe police cited Richardson on Jan. 6, accusing him of rear-ending a car on Paseo de Peralta and then leaving the scene. No one was injured. An attorney representing the former governor entered pleas of not guilty to charges of following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident.

Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil withdrew from the case, noting she had lobbied Richardson and other state officials for infrastructure funding while serving as a county commissioner. Her recusal postponed a hearing scheduled for May 11. The pretrial conference is rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 27.

Gov. Gary Johnson appointed Pfeffer to the First Judicial District Court in 1996, where he served until retiring in 2013. Pfeffer was selected for Richardson’s case based on scheduling, court officials say.

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