Emotional Decision? After Gov. Bill Richardson signed the bill to repeal the death penalty, he told reporters he had spent a good chunk of the day touring Level VI (aka the supermax) at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. He said he wanted to see the conditions and looked in on Robert Fry, one of two men currently on death row.
The next day, Michael Astorga—the accused cop killer profiled by SFR the morning of Richardson’s decision—gave word to SFR that he also had been visited by Richardson. According to Astorga, Corrections Department Secretary Joe Williams came to the door of his cell and told him he had a visitor. Astorga says the governor looked at him with teary eyes and moved on.
The governor’s media coordinator, Caitlin Kelleher, confirms Richardson looked in on Astorga, but, “[I was] right next to the governor, and I can say without a doubt that his eyes did not well up.”
Manny for Gold: Now that former State Senate President Pro Tem Manny Aragon has been sentenced to 67 months in prison for his role in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse scandal, how will he find the $1.4 million he owes in fines and restitution?
Here’s an idea: Aragon should talk to the Unclaimed Property Office at the Taxation & Revenue Department.
According to records requested by SFR, the Unclaimed Property Office is holding 20 shares in the mining company Anglogold Ltd. (worth $744 as of March 20) and a $121.25 dividend from Anglogold for Aragon. Of course, Aragon might be accused of trying to further profit off the backs of others: Human Rights Watch has tied Anglogold to atrocities committed by militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Blockgate Reopens: Long before Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. was caught lying about using public campaign money to pay his buddy’s country band, SFR conducted an in-depth investigation into his court history. That’s when we discovered he’d lied about his criminal record and also had ignored several child support hearings.
At the time, the lawyer for his baby’s mama, Kimberley Gonzales, told SFR her client had been unable to find out Block’s income, how many houses he owned and where he actually lived. But now that he’s a PRC commissioner, his salary is public knowledge: $90,000 per year, and Quintana Griego, his other baby’s mama, is taking him to court for a piece of that pie.
The first hearing is set for June 24. Block says, via email, there will be an official mediation on the matter.