Lobbyist: Former lawmaker offered vote in exchange for sex | KOB 4

Lobbyist: Former lawmaker offered vote in exchange for sex

Brittany Costello and The Associated Press
December 08, 2017 10:29 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A female political lobbyist in New Mexico has accused a former state lawmaker of requesting sex in exchange for support of a bill during a legislative session in 2009.


Lobbyist Vanessa Alarid said Friday that she met with former Rep. Thomas Garcia in March 2009 to discuss proposed legislation and that he offered his support if she would have sex with him.

"He continued with, you have the same name as my wife so I won’t get confused when I scream out your name during sex,
 Alarid said. "I was disgusted. I pushed him off of me and asked him to leave me."

Alarid said after she rejected his advances Garcia voted down the bill.

"There are a lot of good men in Santa Fe who act honorably and with integrity. But there are a few predators that we need to shine the light on and hold them accountable," she said.

Garcia is a Democrat and former public school superintendent who left the Legislature in 2012. He has been exploring a new run for the state House of Representatives. On Friday, Garcia vigorously denied the allegation, saying he never made a proposition to exchange a vote for anything to anyone.

"I'm saddened and disappointed by these false allegations," Garcia said.

Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said he believes Alarid's account and that Garcia should not run for office.

Here is reaction from other lawmakers:

"The behavior reported in the New York Times today is disgusting and completely unacceptable. It should never be tolerated in the state legislature, or anywhere in society. As legislators we should be holding ourselves to the highest standards.  I am confident that by the next meeting of this legislature in January, we will have a policy that confronts this serious problem so that victims will be heard and supported, and abusers will be punished."

-- Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces


"I am shocked and angry to hear this account of sexual harassment by a former member of the legislature. We cannot and will not tolerate actions or behaviors that compromise any person’s well-being, or prevent them from doing their job effectively. It is imperative that we have a comprehensive harassment policy in place that leaves no room for misinterpretation, protects victims, and provides them with a clear and safe means of reporting incidents."

-- Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe


Brittany Costello and The Associated Press

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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