AG talks about Rep. Youngblood’s arrest review
May 25, 2018 06:53 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Attorney General Hector Balderas is discussing his review of a state lawmaker's DWI arrest.
Balderas launched the review earlier this week after the state Democratic Party accused Republican Representative Monica Youngblood of using her position as a lawmaker to try and get out of her arrest.
Balderas is limited in what he can say about the review into Youngblood's arrest because it's ongoing, but he did talk about why he says the review is so important.
"This type of review is necessary to also ensure that there's a sense of confidence in the systems of government," Balderas said during an interview on Friday.
Lapel camera video showing the arrest of Youngblood prompted the state Democratic Party to file a complaint with Balderas, accusing Youngblood of using her power as an elected official to try and talk her way out of an arrest.
"I literally fight for you guys," Youngblood tells an officer during her arrest.
"I can confirm we did receive a complaint. I can't confirm as far as the nature of what exactly we've done the matter is under review," Balderas said.
Balderas said the state Legislature gave the attorney general authority to enforce something called the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act.
"That is basically to make sure that all elected officials abide by an oath where they will not misuse their power and uphold the public interest," he said.
Balderas said it is inappropriate for an elected official to use his or her position for personal gain, something the Democrats allege Youngblood did during her arrest.
"The reason it's so important to have these reviews is we, as elected officials, wield an enormous amount of power," Balderas said. "So it's very important that we take extra steps to be partial and that we're never caught in a position in which we're misusing our power."
It's unclear how long the review will take. KOB asked what could happen to Youngblood if it’s found she violated the Governmental Conduct Act.
"There are penalties associated with that but it would be inappropriate at this point to comment any type of punitive actions," Balderas said.
Updated: May 25, 2018 06:53 PM
Created: May 25, 2018 06:03 PM
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