Judge reverses city clerk’s decision to deny public financing to Sheriff Gonzales

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Judge Bryan Biedscheid reversed the Albuquerque city clerk’s decision to deny Sheriff Manny Gonzales’ public financing bid.

He ruled that the Albuquerque city clerk did not give Gonzales the proper due process when he denied the $635,000 in public financing.

However, this does not immediately mean Gonzales gets the $635,000 in public financing.

The city clerk must give Gonzales a proper hearing where he is afforded due process by early next week. If the clerk does not properly give Gonzales due process, the clerk must certify Gonzales to get the public financing.

The city clerk denied Gonzales’ public financing bid because Gonzales was accused of forging voters’ signatures on campaign documents. Later, the city’s independent inspector general affirmed in a report – Gonzales’ staff did indeed commit widespread forgery and fraud to circumvent the city’s public financing laws.

City Clerk Ethan Watson provided the following statement on the ruling:

"We appreciate the court’s ruling and the procedural guidance offered. We are deciding the steps forward for next week."