FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2021
Contact: Joaquin Romero
New Mexico Senate Republicans Request Special Audit of Governor’s Contingency Fund
SANTA FE – Today, fourteen members of the Senate Republican Caucus sent an official letter to State Auditor Brian Colón requesting a special audit of the Governor’s contingency fund. The request comes on the heels of a KOB 4 Investigates Team story that exposed potential misuses of the fund by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and her staff.
“The law makes is clear that this fund is not for the Governor’s personal entertainment,” said Senator Craig Brandt (District 40-Sandoval). “Taxpayers should not foot the bill for the Governor’s alcohol, Wagyu beef, and dry cleaning. These clearly fall outside the allowable expenditures for this fund.”
According to state law, the money in the Governor’s contingency fund “shall not be used to pay or supplement the salary of the governor or any state employee or as perquisites or allowances for state employees.” The Governor’s spokesperson previously stated that the food in question was for the Governor, her staff, and members of her security detail. The New Mexico State Police have since rebuffed the claim, citing a policy that prohibits officers from consuming taxpayer funded meals at the mansion.
“As the appropriating branch of government, the Legislature has a responsibility to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that they are not being misused,” added Senator Greg Baca (District 29-Bernalillo and Valencia). “Preserving the public’s trust requires transparency and accountability, and we urge the State Auditor to quickly address this matter.”