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Ethics complaint filed against Lewis over commodities contract

Chris Ramirez
November 01, 2017 10:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The mud continues to fly in Albuquerque mayoral election. The latest complaint, this one against candidate Dan Lewis, comes from an independent citizen.

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The complaint alleges that Lewis failed to properly disclose his financial interests in a contract the city has with his employer.

In addition to his role as a city councilor and mayoral candidate, Lewis is an executive at Desert Fuels. It's one of many fuel suppliers for the City of Albuquerque and the contract is a commodities contract. That means anytime the city needs a supply of fuel, it asks all vendors to submit bids. The lowest bid wins.

The City of Albuquerque has paid Desert Fuels about $3 million since 2012. Private citizen Brendan Luke Jaramillo alleges that Lewis has an unlawful financial interest and Lewis violated the charter by voting on at least one budget that included appropriations to his company.

The Lewis Campaign and attorneys in his City Council office are quick to dismiss the allegations. They point to documentation that addressed and dismissed any impropriety two years ago.

In September 2015, Lewis sent this letter to the city's inspector general asking for a full investigation into how the contract with desert fuels was procured.  A month later, the inspector general responded stating he investigated the contract and "based on this review and our consultation with OIG's Assistant City Attorney, nothing has come to our attention to indicate improprieties in the award or administration of the current contract."

At the inspector general's request, Lewis also notified the city clerk and purchasing department that he works at a company that does business with the city.

It's also worth noting that State Auditor Tim Keller, who is Lewis's opponent, regularly audits the City of Albuquerque. This issue has never been flagged by a state audit.

This matter is now in the hands of the Board of Ethics. 

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Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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