Watchdog groups this week filed formal complaints with state offices against Attorney General Hector Balderas, alleging he has inappropriately given legal work to a friend.

New Energy Economy of Santa Fe and four other groups say Balderas has turned much state work over the past few years to New Mexico attorney Marcus Rael.

The groups allege Balderas practiced “questionable awarding of contracts” to Rael and approved improper invoices. The watchdog groups include Indivisible Nob Hill, Renewable Taos, Retake Our Democracy and Democracy Rising.

They filed their complaints with the State Auditor’s Office, the Ethics Commission and the Disciplinary Board of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi said she became interested in the matter when Rael was hired at $400 an hour by Iberdrola, one of the companies that hopes to merge with Public Service Company of New Mexico.

Balderas then gave his support to the proposed merger, she said, after his own expert witnesses criticized it.

The Attorney General’s Office reacted angrily Friday, calling the accusations “baseless” and “a new low” for New Energy Economy.

The emailed statement said Nanasi used “half truths and purposeful omissions to mislead the press and regulators.”

The attorney general has a record of prosecuting corruption, the statement said, and “we utilize the highest standards in procuring legal resources to recover millions of dollars” for New Mexico.

(7) comments

Chris Mechels

Missing from media reporting, and perhaps the WORST from Balderas, he terminated some 40 AG employees after taking office, claiming all AG employees were AT WILL. It took over five years to get lawsuit to appellate and prove him wrong. Now, millions in damages and back pay, for those illegally terminated. For all those years Hector, and his cronies, have terrified the AG employees, who they would dismiss without cause. The turnover was huge, and we are left with an incompetent AG office, only those who keep their heads down and say "YES" to Hector and his cronies. It will take years to rebuild the AG office, as Hector has destroyed it. We, not Hector, will have to pay the million due to those he illegally terminated. At minimum, Hector should be charged with Malfeasance, but who's to charge him? Our Grand Jury has lost the power to charge these corrupt politicians, which the GJ once had. The answer, of course, is to make the Grand Jury independent once again.

Chris Mechels

It seems this case is still ongoing; https://caselookup.nmcourts.gov/caselookup/app?component=cnLink&page=SearchResults&service=direct&session=T&sp=SD-101-CV-202100049 Balderas has very deep pockets, OUR MONEY, to delay paying for HIS mistakes.

Beverly Duran

There is more to this than meets the eye. It’s twisted. Retake Our Democracy...Paul Gibson...in this story, is one of the whistle blowers but in reality he, with House Speaker Brian Egolf, wrote the book on paying favors to puppet lawyers.

Paul, Brian, Hector, Julianna, Neri.....were the Democratic mafia who set Carl Trujillo up, waited to falsely charge him right before the election, raked him through their controlled media, tried him in their own legislative court with Brian Egolf’s personal lawyers...whom they paid very well with our tax dollars!

My group whistle blew on Andrea Romero’s fraudulent use of tax payers money! It was in black and white. But Retake Our Democracy held their own court with their elitists followers in Santa Fe and the turned their head to this. Why now Paul?

Because their through with Hector! These groups use local puppets to meet their agenda and then attack them when they are done doing their dirty work for them. Weber is a peanut compared to this group that holds this State’s political power!

Was it worth it Hector? To sweep Andrea’s illegal actions when your constituents begged you for justice!? To allow her to be elected and control more of our money to lobby her own career? You played into their plot to destroy Trujillo. Now this ugly monster has turned its head in you. Karma is on its way.

Beverly Duran

Apologize for the typos. No way to go back and correct after typing on a small cell screen. Or is there?

Paul Gibson

I can assure you, Retake Our Democracy never, not once, consulted with Speaker Egolf about our support for Andrea Romero. Before we took a position on the race, we met with both Romero and Trujillo. We based our decision to support Romero entirely on positions on issues. We reported on charges and counter charges On sexual harassment and misuse of funds. Frankly, all of the debate about that distracted from discussion of issues. But I acknowledge how Beverly and others could feel the Dem leadership went after Trujillo. But maybe there was a reason.

Amber Espinosa-Trujillo

Shocking no on! The AG has failed to prosecute corruption at the highest level and use his “Friends and Family Plan” to benefit himself and others!

Maria Bautista

Ditto

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