Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vigil-Giron, 3 Others Indicted

Updated: 7:30pm [Link to state indictments]

Attorney General Gary King today confirmed the filing of grand jury indictments against former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil Giron and three others, alleging the misuse of public money allocated to voter education from Federal Help America Voter's Act or HAVA grants.

“My government accountability team has been working on this for about two years,” King said. “We have been trying to point out that there was a lot of evidence. We feel that it has been well researched. We feel like we can support the evidence in court.”

Trip Jennings at the New Mexico Independent reports Lobbyists Joseph Kupfer and Elizabeth Kupfer, along with Armando Gutierrez, the president of the company the state hired to implement the federal Help America Vote Act, all face 50 counts, including fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and soliciting or receiving public kickbacks.

Only thirty minutes before the announcement of the indictments we personally spoke with Vigil-Giron at her office. She told us that she could "relate to what former Assistant U.S. Attorney General David Iglesias had went through." Vigil-Giron said, "My own party [Gary King] is attempting to destroy my reputation."

Vigil-Giron knew she was a target of the investigation and testified in front of the Bernalillo Grand jury on Tuesday. On Friday, the State Supreme Court ruled that those jurors must see evidence that defense attorney's say will exonerate their clients.

Vigil-Giron's issued this statement Wednesday morning, after personally testifying before the grand jury the day before:

I pray every day that my Lord and my God will forgive those individuals who so willingly, callously and wrongfully accuse me of unsubstantiated wrongdoing for the purpose of furthering their own personal and political ambitions. This witch-hunt must cease and desist. It has been going on since I left office almost three years ago and no wrong doing on my part has been uncovered.
Earlier in the day Vigil-Giron said that she “can account for every last nickel that was spent” and said all contracts over $200,000 were reviewed by officials in the attorney general’s office. She said she “relied on the Attorney General to always counsel me in the right direction legally.”

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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