For the past couple weeks we have seen the Senate actively oppose and obstruct legislation again and again. Senator Sanchez, majority leader for Senate Democrats, insists on opposing Republican legislation. To the progressive partisan Democrats, it is all about political games.
Then there was Sen. Phil Griego’s resignation Saturday– the Senator resigned after what appears to be unethical and illegal actions on his part:
Griego said this course of action was necessary “to avoid a major distraction to the important work that needs to be accomplished for the families and children throughout the state of New Mexico.”
In a statement to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the senator said he also didn’t want to go through what would likely be an uphill battle to overcome questions about whether he violated any rules.
“I decided a debilitating and lengthy fight in the hearing system would not serve me or anyone well, and the outcome was far more destructive than was worth it,” Griego said.
His resignation letter was read by the chief clerk on the Senate floor Saturday afternoon without comment.
Senate President Pro Tempore Mary Kay Papen, Senate Majority Floor Leader Michael S. Sanchez and Senate Minority Floor Leader Stuart Ingle released a joint statement. “Sen. Griego’s stipulation speaks for itself. We have no comment and have instructed all of the members of the Senate to do the same.”
Griego has drawn scrutiny in the final weeks of the session over a real estate deal involving a Santa Fe building. Griego was one of several lawmakers who approved the sale last year of a building that used to belong to the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. The buyer, Galisteo Street Inc., later hired Griego to act as its agent in the purchase. Griego was promised a $50,000 commission fee if the sale closed, according to a copy of the agreement.
With the resignation of Sen. Griego, whose district covered several counties, Governor Martinez will have half a dozen options to choose from when appointing a Senator to his now-vacant position and it is quite likely that there will be a couple of Republican nominees and Governor Martinez will have an opportunity to appoint a Republican Senator!
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