Chief Justice Declines To Step Down In Murphy Case

Las Cruces, NM – ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRWG) New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels on Wednesday declined to recuse himself from the case of a Las Cruces judge accused of funneling bribes for judicial appointments to former Gov. Bill Richardson.

Special prosecutor Matt Chandler earlier this month sought to have Daniels disqualified from hearing anything related to the prosecution of state District Judge Michael Murphy. Chandler argued, among other things, that Daniels was among those whose names were mentioned in the pay-to-play scheme. He also raised questions about Daniels' connection to the defense.

Daniels said the challenges were unsupported, issuing 100 pages of documents to counter what he called "widely publicized misstatements" and "misrepresentations of the applicable legal principles."

Richardson has called allegations that campaign contributions influenced his judicial nominations "outrageous and defamatory."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG