Stapleton on the NMFA mess: “The brother has taken the hit”
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State Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque) says other heads should roll in the investigation and pending prosecution connected to the New Mexico Finance Authority’s fraudulent audit that has put the state’s bond ratings into question.
“I think the brother has taken the hit for everyone above him and I think that is so unfair,” Rep. Stapleton said this morning (Oct. 11) during a Roundhouse committee meeting hearing discussing the NMFA affair, according to Associated Press.
Stapleton was referring to Greg Campbell, the former controller at the NMFA who admitted in a brief television interview after his arrest that the controversy “would be my blame.”
Campbell and Stapleton are African American.
Stapleton complained that Campbell is being made “the fall guy” and that others in the NMFA should have been charged in the incident or have lost their jobs.
Last month, a grand jury in Santa Fe refused to indict NMFA chief operating officer John T. Duff on charges that he worked together with Campbell to manipulate financial figures but the grand jury did indict Campbell on eight counts of securities fraud and four counts of forgery.
After getting cleared by the grand jury, Duff says he’s considering a lawsuit against the state while two weeks ago, the NMFA board fired the chief executive officer of the authority at the time of the bogus audits — Rick May, who’s also contemplating his own lawsuit “to preserve and protect my longstanding reputation for honesty and integrity.”
The head of the state’s Securities Division, Daniel Tanaka, appeared before the NMFA Oversight Committee on Thursday and told Roundhouse lawmakers that a “catastrophic systemic failure in the controls surrounding the audit progress” led to the controversy that has put a hold on a number of municipal bond and infrastructure projects around the state.
AP quoted Tanaka saying that “Senior management created an atmosphere which allowed fraudulent activity to flourish,” adding that the audit was needed as part of financial and legal materials for a $24 million bond issue in March of this year. Tanaka told lawmakers he’s not sure what the motivation was but said Campbell admitted to investigators that he had forged the audit.
To read the entire AP story, click here.