Susana blasts Bregman: “They’ll stoop to anything”; Bregman threatens to release entire tape
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An angry Gov. Susana Martinez lit into Albuquerque attorney and prominent New Mexico Democrat Sam Bregman, one day after Bregman released a 25-second audio clip of a secretly recorded phone conversation with Martinez chief of staff Keith Gardner.
“Sam Bregman released 25 seconds of an hour and 10 minute private conversation,” Martinez told reporters on Wednesday (Sept. 5), “that involved the sexual assault of two girls” and a subsequent investigation of those charges. “It was done strictly for political reasons.”On Tuesday, Bregman released a recording of Gardner speaking to a friend, Brian Powell of Roswell, who apparently recorded the conversation without Gardner’s knowledge.
In the excerpt Bregman played a news conference in Albuquerque, a voice identified as Gardner’s says, “That’s why I never email on my state email … anything that can come back and bite … I never use my email because it’s all done on different stuff … I don’t want to go to court [or] jail.”
At the news conference, Bregman said “this administration is drunk with power, and they want to run a secret government.”
But Gov. Martinez said the quotes do not deal with use of state e-mails or computers: “What was said in reference to the computers had to do with the investigation of those [assault] cases, had nothing to do with our state computers.”
“Gov. Martinez and [political advisor] Jay McCleskey have obviously started up their political spin machine,” Bregman told Capitol Report New Mexico by phone from his law office, adding, “Gov. Martinez used to be a prosecutor … now she surrounds herself with people who obviously have ethical, if not legal issues … It is unfortunate that her administration is not owning up and simply wants to attack the messenger.”
Bregman said the entire conversation runs for one hour and 13 minutes. He confirmed that part of the conversation dealt with two girls who were the victim of sexual assault but says Gardner talks about Senate pro tem Tim Jennings (D-Roswell), and — Bregman says — how Gardner “gets people jobs,” among other things.
“I can’t imagine the administration wants these things out there,” Bregman said. “But if they want it, they get it.”
“Keith didn’t do anything wrong,” Martinez said. “The one who did something wrong was Sam Bregman. That’s who took advantage of two girls and that’s who deserves an apology from that man.”
And there’s a lot more from the governor:
Bregman is an attorney for Larry Flynn, a former Department of Corrections employee who was fired last year who has filed a wrongful termination case with the state. Flynn shared a house with Lupe Martinez, who had been appointed secretary at the Department of Corrections by Gov. Martinez but resigned after Flynn was let go following an incident in which he fired a handgun outside their house which was located on the grounds of the state peniteniary.
Lupe Martinez has since gone to Bregman, alleging that Gardner told her and other cabinet members to use private e-mails to avoid having communications discovered through public records inspection requests — something that Gardner and other cabinet officials deny.
“Her statement is simply false, and she knows it,” Gov. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell told the Santa Fe New Mexican back in June. “And it’s being peddled by a partisan attorney looking to bolster a termination appeal of her fired boyfriend.”
A longtime Democratic Party member, Bregman has been rumored by some to be considering running for governor 2014.