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Magistrate to hear case against former tax chief

September 28, 2018

A preliminary hearing in former state Tax Department boss Demesia Padilla’s corruption case will take place in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court instead of state District Court.

Magistrate Donna Bevacqua-Young on Thursday told lawyers in the case that the hearing — which is expected to last more than a week — will begin Oct. 29.

That’s the same date that state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer had scheduled for the case. Prosecutor Zach Jones of the state Attorney General’s Office told a reporter that the preliminary hearing was moved to the county court because of a scheduling conflict for Marlowe Sommer.

At a preliminary hearing, a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to order a defendant to stand trial.

Padilla faces three felony charges and five misdemeanors. She is accused of embezzling $25,000 from the bank account of Bernalillo-based Harold’s Grading and Trucking, which was a client of her accounting business. Investigators say the client did not authorize a series of 40 electronic transfers.

The attorney general alleges she transferred all of that money between 2011 and 2013, after Padilla had become secretary of Gov. Susana Martinez’s Taxation and Revenue Department.

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