"New Survey Finds Strong Support for Ethics Reform to Combat Political Corruption in New Mexico"
Dr. Gabriel R. Sanchez, Melina Juárez, and Brooke Abrams
Political corruption continues to be a major issue in New Mexico, making legislation to improve government accountability and transparency a major need as we begin the 60- day legislative session. Most recently, Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla resigned from her job in the midst of an embezzlement and tax evasion investigation. However, scandals regarding elected and appointed officials in the state have been rampant across the state of late, including the arrests of former state senators, Public Regulations Commissioners, the state Corrections Department and several other state officers.
Most troubling, while the Secretary of State is the official state government ethics regulator, three individuals who have held this position in a row have been accused of wrong-doing while holding this important office. It is not surprising that the Center for Public Integrity and other independent report cards consistently rank New Mexico among the worst states in ethics and government accountability. For example, New Mexico is among the minority of states (7 in total) that lack an independent ethics commission. The only positive that may come from these high profile and embarrassing events is that they remind the public that we are in desperate need of ethics reform.
Sanchez, Gabriel R, Melina Juárez, and Brooke Abrams. 2017. “New Survey Finds Strong Support for Ethics Reform to Combat Political Corruption in New Mexico.” Albuquerque, NM: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy.