Lawmakers investigating criminal allegations against Secretary of State Dianna Duran met Monday to begin the process of deciding whether to impeach her.
The House Special Investigatory Committee “discussed hiring of special legal counsel, rules for the investigation and a hearing schedule,” according to the Associated Press.
That process is expected to take several months. Meanwhile, as the news services reported, Duran’s attorney has asked to delay a preliminary hearing in the attorney general’s criminal case against Duran that’s scheduled for late October.
Duran remains on the job while fighting fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and other charges related to alleged abuse of the state’s campaign finance system.
And some in the media are still looking into Duran’s campaign finance reports. Lawmakers may “find more to investigate about Duran than the attorney general has touched on,” The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Milan Simonich wrote Monday. From his column:
In a 2010 campaign finance report, Duran listed Don Kidd as her campaign treasurer. Duran stated in the report that Kidd’s phone number and mailing address were the same as her own, so his identity is blurred.
The most prominent Don Kidd in New Mexico is a banker and a friend of Duran’s. Kidd and Duran served together in the state Senate. But Kidd said in an interview that he was not Duran’s campaign treasurer.
“If she listed me, she did it on her own,” he said. “I didn’t sign any checks or pay any bills for her, and that’s what a campaign treasurer does.”
The charges against Duran include one of identity theft. She deposited a $600 check into her personal account that her campaign issued to Sean Davis of Tularosa for “equipment & work on campaign,” the attorney general claims. Duran allegedly forged Davis’ signature. Investigators say Davis didn’t work for Duran, endorse the check, or receive the money.
So it’s important to know who, if anyone, was watching Duran’s campaign finances as treasurer. According to The New Mexican, a Duran spokesman didn’t respond to questions about Kidd.