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Colfax County Uncovered Serious Findings Against Former Colfax County Manager

Press Release

Colfax County Commissioners

For Immediate Release

Raton, New Mexico

(September 27, 2022)

The Chairman of the Colfax County Commissioners, Mr. Roy P. Fernandez, made a public statement in the Commission’s regular meeting conducted on September 27, 2022 regarding certain findings discovered by the County as follows:

The County previously issued a request for proposals (“RFP”) for certain services to the County. Subsequently, the County awarded a contract to a private company (“contractor”) to fulfill the contract. The former County Manager, Mary Lou Kern, who resigned from her position as County Manager on February 28, 2022, was involved in the RFP process, and subsequent approvals of the contractor’s requests for payments under the Contract.

However, after Ms. Kern resigned from her position, the County discovered that the contractor significantly exceeded the allowed budget under the contract by being paid $577,497.10 over the contracted maximum amount stated in the contract. The County also identified invoices submitted by the contractor which contained personal purchases and other materials unrelated to the services provided by the contractor and yet approved by Ms. Kern.

The County also found that Ms. Kern may have a close personal relationship with the contractor given the fact that Ms. Kern currently or in the recent past held a high level position with the contractor based on an employee census report submitted to the County, which raises serious questions of Ms. Kern having a conflict of interest regarding this contractor.

The County, upon due consideration in order to address this issue in a timely manner and in an effort to protect public trust and the integrity of the County, is identifying these critical issues uncovered by the County publicly because of grave concerns raised by the Commission.

The County will diligently look into this matter and will find an equitable and legal solution to rectify these wrongdoings identified by the County, and will make a further public statement in this matter to the public if required and necessary.

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