Sunday, May 28, 2023
New Mexico

Ethics Complaint vs. State Treasurer Goes Forward

Laura Montoya accused of reporting, disclosure violations


An ethics complaint against State Treasurer Laura Montoya, formerly treasurer in Sandoval County, will go before a hearing officer after an attorney for the State Ethics Commission determined probable cause to support the allegations.

Montoya, a Democrat who defeated Republican Harry Montoya (no relation) in November’s general election, is accused of violating campaign reporting and financial disclosure laws during the election. 

The complaint was filed by Tim Eichenberg, her predecessor as state treasurer, who endorsed Montoya’s opponent in the primary election.

The allegations are that Montoya broke campaign finance laws by failing to disclose the sources of two $5,000 checks from SPR LLCs, which lease buildings to an assisted living provider, according to the Albuquerque Journal. 

The checks were written in September 2021 to Adelante Sandoval, a political action committee, with the understanding that the money would go to Montoya’s campaign.

Montoya is also accused of falsely filling out financial disclosure paperwork. Ethics Commission General Counsel Walker Boyd found that Montoya declaring herself “self employed” was not adequate under the Financial Disclosure Act.

Montoya’s hearing will be before retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan C. Torgerson, appointed as hearing officer in the case. The judge could impose penalties up to $4,000 and require the $10,000 SPR donated be returned.

Eichenberg has been at odds with Montoya at least since Eichenberg was slapped with a $250 ethics fine for using the official state treasurer seal in communications he had opposing Montoya’s candidacy. 

Eichenberg endorsed Heather Benevidez, who served as his chief of staff while he was treasurer.

Montoya served as Sandoval County treasurer from 2013 to 2021.


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