Independent Source PAC

Protecting working families by investigating and exposing the actions, agendas, and hypocrisy of the political Right.

6/5/2012 Ms. Carole Lee Special Agent In Charge FBI By Fax: (505) 889-1770 Mr. Albert Lama, Chief Deputy New Mexico Attorney General Via email: alama@nmag.gov

RE: Concerns over Possible Obstruction by the Martinez Administration Regarding Potentially Illegal Gifts During Prohibited Times to First Gentleman Chuck Franco Related to Awarding of Contract to Downs at Albuquerque. Dear Ms. Lee and Mr. Lama: Beginning on September 5, 2011 First Gentleman Chuck Franco traveled on a five day round trip to Louisiana for a hunting trip (apparently his first time there). The two majority owners of the Downs, John S. Turner, Jr., and William C. Windham live in Louisiana and have extensive business and personal holdings including land, hotels, marine properties etc. This trip occurred after the state received the bidders response to the RFP but before Charles Gara gave the Downs the improbable perfect score that led to the Downs securing the contract. According to a Deputy Chief of the New Mexico State Police, two members of the governor’s security detail accompanied Mr. Franco on what was purported to be a vacation. Out of concern that an illegal gift (bribe) during the racino contract procurement process could take the form of free or discounted accommodations (hotel, casino, hunting lodge or personal residences), providing access to private hunting land or fishing locations, boats, guides etc., we issued an IPRA to the Governor’s office on April 19, 2012 requesting: “All records pertaining to the Governor’s security detail for the Louisiana trip accompanying Chuck Franco beginning on September 5, 2011. Records should include all accommodation records, motels, hotels, private residences, hunting lodges, etc. Please identify the location and owners of all accommodations and who paid for these accommodations. Please also include a complete itinerary, hunting and fishing locations, of the security detail for the full duration of the time in Louisiana.” (See attached request). This request was also sent to the New Mexico State Police and to the Department of Finance Administration. Both the governor’s office and DFA said they had no records. NM DPS said it only had one record- an excel spreadsheet of gasoline purchases made by the security detail on a state credit card (they took a state vehicle with them on the trip). I then made a follow-up request to NMSP on May 18, 2011 for the following: “Any leave requests, vacation requests and time sheets covering the period for time off of September 1, 2011 through September 12, 2011 for New Mexico State Police Government Security Detail officers Reuben Maynes and Chavez (first name unknown) as identified in the excel spreadsheet for the Louisiana hunting and fishing trip. Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. I appreciate it!” (See attached request).

Independent Source PAC - Phone (505) 250-0244 - 11024 Montgomery Blvd. NE # 128 - Albuquerque, NM 87111  

The request for time sheets and/or leave requests is critical. The trip could not have occurred without one or the other. We have it on good information from an anonymous source that time sheets do exist and that they include overtime billed to the taxpayers for the trip. Yesterday, DPS responded with the attached letter denying our request. The reason, a refusal to release any information from the trip nine months ago on the grounds that it puts the governor and her husband at risk. (It should be noted that New Mexico law typically opposes blanket rejections, requiring release of records with redactions of sensitive information when some of the information is disclosable). We believe that more likely the governor’s attorneys were involved in the decision and instructed the state police not to produce the records. One realistic possibility for the denial is that the first gentleman was the beneficiary of the largesse from heavy dollar contributors during a prohibited time and that this may have played a role in the awarding of the contract. Further, this past February, the governor hired the wife of one of the two security officers as an executive assistant. She was hired as an exempt employee into a $55,000 a year job without having to follow normal hiring procedures. She was hired a few weeks after we issued our first investigative report on the Downs deal. One explanation for this hiring could be that in hiring the wife of the security officer to a high paying job that the officer would be less likely to come clean about the trip should questions arise about it. The administration likely believes that since they have denied access to the documents that they have effectively shut down any further investigation. Were that the case this would be equivalent to obstruction if in fact illegal conduct occurred. We felt this should be brought to your attention. Sincerely,

Michael Corwin Executive Director

Independent Source PAC - Phone (505) 250-0244 - 11024 Montgomery Blvd. NE # 128 - Albuquerque, NM 87111