Former state Sen. Phil Griego is facing criminal charges related to a real estate deal he worked on as a legislator while also being paid by the company buying the historic building from the state.
Griego, D-San Jose, was allegedly paid more than $50,000 for assisting the company, Galisteo Street, Inc. (GSI), in obtaining the property in Santa Fe. Griego didn’t disclose that financial relationship during the 2014 legislative process that led to state approval of the sale.
Griego faces nine counts including bribery, fraud, perjury, tampering with public records and violating the ethical principles of public service. The Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas made the allegations in a criminal complaint filed Monday in Santa Fe. A statement from the AG says Griego “used his role as a legislator to receive personal compensation, which he then failed to disclose in filings required of legislators.”
Griego was quoted by New Mexico Political Report as saying he would fight the charges, “because everything they have in there is wrong.”
Griego agreed to monitor the sale of the building for GSI in September 2013, the complaint states. Meanwhile, in his legislative capacity, Griego pushed approval of the sale. For example, Griego presented the resolution authorizing the sale of the property to the Senate Rules Committee on Feb. 18, 2014.
“Griego then stood silent the next day as inaccurate and incomplete information regarding the lease and sale were discussed on the Senate floor,” the complaint states. “Griego continued influencing the legislative process through final review by the Capitol Buildings Planning Commission, the final step in permitting the sale.”
In addition to failing to disclose the fact that he was being paid by GSI to the state, fellow lawmakers, and the public, Griego hid it from broker John J. Mahoney — which deprived Mahoney of an agreed-upon share of Griego’s commissions, the complaint alleges.
Griego, who served in the Legislature for 18 years, receives legislative retirement payments of $1,324 each month.