A federal investigation into Gov. Susana Martinez’s fundraising and political consultant Jay McCleskey has ended without any charges being filed, McCleskey’s attorney said Friday.
The Albuquerque Journal quoted Paul Kennedy, the lawyer, as saying, “We have been informed that the investigation has been terminated and no charges will be forthcoming.”
The U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t generally confirm the existence of such investigations. The DOJ was quoted by the Journal as saying, in this instance, “As a matter of policy, Justice Department agencies, including the U.S. Attorney and FBI, may not comment on investigative matters.”
Martinez reiterated on Friday what she’s said in the past — that she believed McCleskey would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“As I said, I was fully confident that Jay didn’t do anything wrong and that I trusted the system to look into baseless complaints and reject them,” Martinez said.
“I’m disappointed that some political opponents felt the need to leak misleading information about this in an effort to smear Jay, but I’m glad for him and his family that it’s over,” she said.
The Santa Fe New Mexican broke the news in early November that the FBI had been interviewing some New Mexico Republicans about McCleskey.
Specific allegations weren’t included. A source quoted in The New Mexican’s article was identified as a “prominent New Mexico Republican” who wasn’t named but “confirmed being interviewed in recent months by federal agents about funds from Martinez’s campaign, as well as money from her 2011 inauguration committee, going to the governor’s political consultant, Jay McCleskey.”
Days later the Journal quoted “a former Martinez supporter interviewed by the FBI” as saying people involved in the inauguration “have complained that more than $100,000 in checks were issued without invoices showing what the money was spent on and that substantial amounts were paid to businesses controlled by McCleskey.”
That included “$40,000 for a video of the inauguration that may not have been produced,” the Journal quoted the source as saying.
As part of the wide-ranging investigation the feds also subpoenaed records from the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department and from the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces related to Martinez’s tenure as DA.
Some Republicans who are at odds with McCleskey have been talking with federal law enforcement officials about McCleskey’s dealings for years.