There’s some confusion about how often embattled Secretary of State Dianna Duran has been at work lately and what she’s been doing.
It’s clear that Duran was in the office Tuesday. She spoke with two television reporters. KOB-TV said Tuesday was her second day at work since being charged in late August with multiple felonies related to abusing the state’s campaign finance system.
But Duran’s chief of staff, Ken Ortiz, told NMPolitics.net that Duran was at work two days last week. He also said she arrived at 1 p.m. Tuesday and spent the afternoon working.
“Dianna has been working with our elections staff, as the top priority of this office is preparing for the upcoming presidential election,” Ortiz wrote in an email. That work includes “calculating petition signature numbers” and publishing the 2016 election candidate guide, which is due by Oct. 1, Ortiz said.
But he couldn’t answer a question about the signing of proclamations.
Duran’s signature appears on three recent proclamations issued by Gov. Susana Martinez for Bob Moran Day, Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, and Gathering of Counties Day. Asked if Duran came to the office or signed those proclamations from another location — or if her signature was a stamp — Ortiz didn’t answer.
“Secretary Duran has provided signature authority to the deputy secretary, as well as two other agency employees,” Ortiz wrote. “Any signature authority utilized in the secretary’s absence is done with the secretary’s express approval.”
When NMPolitics.net pointed out that his response didn’t answer the question, Ortiz replied, “This is the only answer I have received regarding the signing of proclamations.”