A Federal probe into pay-to-play allegations in New Mexico is reportedly over. Governor Bill Richardson and key members of his staff appear to have been cleared by officials at the U.S. Justice Department.
A year long grand jury panel had been reviewing lucrative bond deals awarded to CDR Executive David Rubin, a Richardson presidential campaign donor. Those bonds funded New Mexico Transportation projects.
A Spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Albuquerque did not return our calls immediately, and Governor Richardson's spokesman Gilbert Gallegos was also unavailable for comment, but a source of the Associated Press said, "It's over. There's nothing. It was killed in Washington."
The investigation derailed Richardson's appointment by President Barack Obama to become U.S. Commerce Secretary.
For Pete's Sake:
Speculation about the clearance began two weeks ago when Richardson hosted two North Korean diplomats from the United Nations in New York, and again this week when Richardson made a trade mission to Cuba.
Richardson has always had the right to be presumed innocent and this formal clearance is expected to re-energize the Richardson administration.
The Governor has told us that he wants to make education the focus of his last year and a half in office. Of course, he may need to use some of that energy in balancing the state's budget, which is facing a $433 million dollar deficit.
We expect to see even more photos, like the big one at the top of this report, showing Governor Richardson with his "chin up."
Top Photo Credit: MG Bralley