Former tax chief Padilla pleads not guilty to corruption charges

Demesia Padilla. Luis Sánchez Saturno/New Mexican file photo

Former state Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla on Thursday pleaded not guilty to the seven corruption counts with which she’s charged.

A state district judge in Santa Fe set her trial to begin May 29.

Padilla, who was one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s longest-serving Cabinet secretaries, is accused of embezzling more than $25,000 from one of her accounting clients, Harold’s Grading and Trucking near Bernalillo.

According to testimony at a preliminary hearing in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, family members who own the business said Padilla claimed the firm owed her money.

Padilla faces a felony embezzlement count as well as a charge of performing an official act for private gain (interfering in an audit of that client), which also is a felony. The remaining five counts are misdemeanors. They allege Padilla violated state ethics rules.

Show what you're thinking about this story

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.