Records: NM politico pushed judge appointments

Posted at: 05/06/2013 9:21 AM
Updated at: 05/06/2013 11:14 AM
By: The Associated Press

Photo: Bill Richardson
Photo: Bill Richardson

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Records show that a political figure at the center of a New Mexico judicial scandal was in regular contact with then-Gov. Bill Richardson's staff to offer input on appointments.

The Albuquerque Journal obtained the emails and a tape-recorded interview under the Inspection of Public Records Request.

They suggest that, at the very least, real estate agent and Richardson fundraiser Edgar Lopez, of Las Cruces, believed he was the man to see if someone wanted to garner a judicial appointment in Dona Ana County.

Lopez said last week in a telephone interview that the emails were just "personal recommendations." He was never charged with a crime in the bribery case brought by special prosecutor Clovis District Attorney Matt Chandler.

Richardson, a Democrat, was governor from 2003 to 2011.

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