I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Career prosecutors thought Richardson indictment was ‘not warranted,’ WaPo reports
“Career prosecutors concluded that an indictment was not warranted,” after federal prosecutors in New Mexico sent their findings in the Richardson pay to play probe to Washington, D.C., the The Washington Post reports today.
From the story:
Another legal source familiar with the criminal investigation said the agreement to extend the statute of limitations on the allegations had expired Wednesday and Justice Department officials had not requested more time. That signaled, the source said, that indictments were no longer a possibility.
The Post also spoke with a Democratic source close to Richardson who has spoken with individuals directly involved in the investigation who said “it’s not official, but it looks good.”
“There is a sense of relief,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, “but there is a sense of vindication more importantly.”
The rest of the Post’s story covers ground that is known to New Mexicans who have followed the case closely.
Here’s an excerpt:
The FBI and a grand jury in Albuquerque had been investigating the award of a state contract to CDR Financial Products, a Beverly Hills-based company that had contributed nearly $100,000 to the governor’s political action committees. CDR was paid $1.48 million for advising the New Mexico Finance Authority on investment decisions in 2004.
Investigators have been examining whether Richardson or his deputies pressed the authority to hire CDR after receiving financial contributions from the company and its president to help register minority voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention.
Richardson, who had served as energy secretary and United Nations ambassador during the Clinton administration, had been poised to become the highest ranking Hispanic in the Obama Cabinet before the CDR probe intensified. Richardson’s second term as governor runs through 2010, and he is prohibited from running for a third term, opening questions about his political future.
The inquiry was part of a lengthy federal investigation of “pay-to-play” practices in local government bond markets. Federal investigators have been trying to build cases against financial firms and political figures who may have accepted gifts in exchange for high fees on work advising municipal and local governments on investments.