March 29, 2017
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Morning Word: Former Tax Secretary Received Rent From Payday Loan Firm

December 20, 2016, 7:30 am
Padilla Rental Income Explained
A payday loan company says it paid rent for commercial space leased to them by former New Mexico Tax and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla and that may explain some bank deposits being investigated by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
Though the payments from QC Holdings are part of the AG’s investigation, the probe is centered on Padilla’s relationship with the Albuquerque company Harold’s Grading & Trucking. Investigators are looking into whether Padilla continued working for that company after becoming tax secretary in 2011, creating a conflict; whether she pressured state employees to give the company preferential treatment during an audit; and if she embezzled from the company or committed other crimes related to payments she made to herself from the company’s bank account.
Junk Food Rule Proposed for Food Stamp Recipients
New Mexico Sen. Cliff Pirtle pre-filed legislation that would ban the purchase of junk food by more than half a million New Mexicans receiving supplemental nutrition benefits. But not everyone supports the idea to bar things like ice cream and sodas and insist the state should not become the “food police.”

State Electors Back Clinton
Donald Trump may have won the Electoral College vote Monday, but all five of New Mexico’s electors cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. Congress will verify the Electoral College votes on January 6. 

Obama Shortens Sentences at Record Rate 
In a nation of second chances, President Barack Obama granted 78 people “Christmas” pardons.  He continues to shorten the length of federal prison sentences for scores of nonviolent offenders.  During his presidency, Obama and has shortened the sentences of 1,176 people, including 395 serving life sentences—more than the past 11 presidents combined. 

Lab Sued by Fired Manager 
A former senior manager is suing Los Alamos National Laboratory. John Tapia claims he was forced to resign in April because "lab officials feared fraud accusations stemming from his position with a local electric co-op might harm negotiations with the US Department of Energy over the lab’s management contract."

John Tapia, who had worked for the lab since 1988, says in a breach of contract lawsuit that the lab gave him the option to quit or be fired months after he became embroiled in a Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative Inc. controversy over fraud claims that later were deemed unsubstantiated.

 

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Morning Word: Sanctuary Standoff

Morning Word Sessions Doubles Down on Sanctuary ThreatUS Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeated a Trump promise that sanctuary cities will lose funding if they don't toe the line and work with federal Immigratio ... More

March 28, 2017 by Matt Grubs

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