The Spanish fraternal organization Union Protectíva de Santa Fé filed a complaint this week with the city’s Ethics and Campaign Review Board alleging bullying, campaign finance violations and “general abuse of power” by Mayor Alan Webber and his campaign.
The complaint — the third filed in the mayoral election thus far — accuses Webber’s campaign of “bullying.” It notes recent missives the campaign sent out alleging “Trump MAGA” operatives are working to “take over the Mayor’s office.”
The complaint also revives a criticism that Webber used a city-funded event to promote his campaign.
James Hallinan, a spokesman for Union Protectíva, said the complaint isn’t in retaliation for an earlier complaint filed by Webber’s campaign accusing Union Protectíva and two local veterans groups — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2951 and American Legion Post 1 — of illegally working to support the mayor’s rival, JoAnne Vigil Coppler.
A news release accompanying that complaint also accused members of the three groups of being supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Hallinan called Webber’s claims “ludicrous and divisive.”
In response to the new complaint by Union Protectíva, Sascha Anderson, a spokeswoman for Webber’s campaign, issued a statement accusing the fraternal organization of keeping the community in the dark about who is funding its political activity.
“We look forward to discussing their complaint and ours at the upcoming ethics hearing,” the statement read.
Union Protectíva’s complaint also seeks the removal of two ethics board members, Kristina Martinez and Ruth Kovnat.
Union Protectíva’s complaint stems from Martinez’s connection with the law firm Egolf + Martinez + Ferlic + Harwood, which Webber’s campaign retained to defend against an ethics complaint filed by another rival in the mayor’s race, Alexis Martinez Johnson.
Kovnat also was identified for removal based off of past campaign contributions to Webber and House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.
Martinez recused herself from the board’s vote on Martinez Johnson’s complaint, but Kovnat did not. The board threw out the complaint Aug. 19 because Martinez Johnson failed to provide a specific grievance.
Webber’s ethics complaint against Union Protectíva will be heard 3 p.m.