Now state Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas says he failed to report more than $11,000 in campaign contributions in 2014. He has filed amended reports to correct the record.
The total Maestas, D-Albuquerque, failed to report is $11,170, according to a list the Albuquerque Journal says he provided. The Journal didn’t publish the list.
We have some additional questions about the situation, but Maestas hasn’t responded to questions from NMPolitics.net.
A week ago, KOB-TV reported that it discovered $4,250 in contributions lobbyists and political committees reported giving Maestas that he left off his finance reports. The news organization said there are still questions about what Maestas did with some of his money. It identified three times in 2014 that Maestas took $1,000 in cash from his campaign account for “paid canvassing teams.”
Doing that, the Journal reported, “raises the question of whether the expenditures complied with a state law that requires disbursements from campaign accounts – except those of $100 or less from a petty cash fund – to be done by check.”
From the Journal, which spoke with the office of Secretary of State Dianna Duran:
“At this point, Rep. Maestas’ campaign finance reports have been assigned to our ethics staff for review to make a determination regarding whether further action is needed,” said Ken Ortiz, a spokesman in Duran’s office.
Duran herself was recently charged by the attorney general with crimes including illegally using her campaign contributions to cover personal spending at casinos.
According to Ortiz, Maestas paid fines of $1,175 in April of this year for a late 2014 filing, and $100 related to a late 2012 filing.
The Journal quoted a letter Maestas sent to Common Cause New Mexico and the N.M. Foundation for Open Government in which he wrote, “This was an error on my part that won’t be repeated.”
After KOB reported that Maestas failed to file a required report on time earlier this year, he said something similar: “There’s no excuse, it’ll never happen again.”