New Mexico Auditor’s Office wants access to AG files

December 22, 2018

The State Auditor’s Office filed a petition Friday in state District Court seeking authority to subpoena documents from the office of state Attorney General Hector Balderas.

Attorney General’s Office spokesman David Carl claimed in an email that State Auditor Wayne Johnson filed the petition in order to interfere with Balderas’ investigation into Johnson’s own alleged misdeeds.

“We can confirm an ongoing criminal investigation of Wayne Johnson for alleged illegal use of campaign funds and misusing his public office for personal gain,” Carl wrote. “This is an attempt to fraudulently file a subpoena to delay and obstruct an active criminal investigation. We will promptly alert the court of his misuse of subpoena power and potential violations of the governmental conduct act.”

Carl included a copy of the State Auditor’s 2018 audit of the Attorney General’s Office, pointing out the report identified no findings during its audit of the agency.

Johnson responded to inquiries about the petition in a written statement, saying he is seeking records in relation to a “tip” received through the auditor’s fraud line in October. He added he filed the petition because the Attorney General’s office has failed to provide them.

“With regard to the other frivolous claims,” Johnson wrote, “this is clearly an attempt to intimidate and to continue to conceal documents that have been lawfully requested. … This seems to be a pattern when dealing with the [attorney general’s] office during my tenure.”

Johnson, who was defeated by Brian Colón in the state auditor’s race in November’s general election, will leave office at the end of the year.

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