Press Release Colfax County Commissioners
County Manager Monte Gore
Monte Gore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Phone: (575) 445-9661
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1498
Raton NM 87740
For Immediate Release
Raton, New Mexico (10/14/2022)
The New Mexico State Ethics Commission, an independent state agency tasked with promoting the integrity of New Mexico State Government through the interpretation, enforcement, and improvement of New Mexico’s campaign finance, governmental conduct, procurement, and lobbying laws, conducted a public meeting on October 14, 2022.
The State Ethics Commission publicly approved a civil action regarding violations of New Mexico Statute Section 10-16-8 of the Governmental Conduct Act by a former employee of a local public body, one Mary Lou Kern. https://www.sec.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Working-Public-Materials-Packet-1.pdf (Item 13. (b), page 5 of the Material Packet); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb6s3POiNyY (please refer to 5 min. 10 seconds to 5 min. 45 seconds of the live stream) Section 10–16–8(C) of the Governmental Conduct Act emphasizes a public officer must treat their office as a public trust and therefore, the public officer shall not use their power to advance personal benefits or pursue private interests.
Therefore, it prohibits former governmental employees that, during the preceding year were involved in making a contract with the business and the governmental entity, from representing the business in dealings with the governmental entity.
The purpose of this legislation is to enhance the public trust and confidence in governmental agencies by prohibiting conduct which may permit or appear to permit undue influence or conflicts of interest.
Under the Governmental Conduct Act, someone who knowingly violates this statute can be prosecuted criminally which, if found guilty of a misdemeanor, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.
In addition, the State Ethics Commission can institute a civil action to rectify these violations.
The Colfax County Commission hereby states that it shall cooperate with the State Ethics Commission’s investigation in this matter and uphold the public justice. n