New Mexico governor, lawmakers react to corruption allegations against Rep. Williams Stapleton
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico lawmakers released statements after law enforcement agents executed search warrants at the home and business of state Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton Wednesday morning.
Statement from House Democratic leaders New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, House Majority Whip Doreen Gollegos and House Majority Caucus Chair D. Wonda Johnson:
"We are shocked and dismayed by the deeply troubling allegations against Rep. Stapleton. We have counted her as a valued colleague and have never seen any instances of impropriety or criminal behavior in her work serving in the House, but New Mexicans deserve to know that their elected officials hold the highest ethical standards and are free of corruption. We will fully cooperate with investigating authorities and will closely monitor the situation as the facts come out regarding these allegations. We will also begin today the Interim Legislative Ethics Committee process to appropriately investigate all allegations related to legislative service.”
Statement from House Republican Leader Jim Townsend, Artesia, House Republican Whip Rod Montoya, Farmington, and House Republican Caucus Chair Rebecca Dow, Truth or Consequences:
“House Republicans are deeply concerned about the allegations and ongoing investigation regarding Democrat Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton. The public places tremendous trust in our legislative body and any acts of impropriety or criminal behavior should be met with swift and decisive action. We will join efforts with our Democrat colleagues to address these allegations in the Interim Legislative Ethics Committee. We support a full and thorough investigation into the allegations, including any other person or entity that may have been complicit with or failed to act responsibly to prevent this from occurring. Our legislative responsibility is to ensure that we steward a better future for New Mexico and we must put transparency and ethics above all else.”
Statement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham:
“I am deeply, deeply troubled by the reports this morning about a law enforcement investigation into Rep. Stapleton. People are innocent until proven otherwise, and I know investigators will follow the facts wherever they lead. I await more information like all New Mexicans. But I will say that public confidence in government is seriously damaged by even the appearance of impropriety, or illegal activity, which is why public officials must always hold themselves to the highest possible standard of behavior. New Mexicans expect and deserve elected officials who, regardless of party, will put the people before themselves. Anything less violates a sacred public trust and must be dealt with accordingly.”
Statement from the Republican Party of New Mexico:
“Elected officials at all levels ask for and receive public trust. It’s one of the most basic elements of successful self-governance. When that trust is violated by any elected official, it affects the public trust of all elected officials. The allegations against Rep. Williams Stapleton involve this public trust and as such must be taken seriously, but not all of the facts are out. We must wait for more information and for the investigation to take its course. If the allegations prove true, they are a disturbing violation of the sacred public trust."
Read more about the investigation here.