Indictment Reinstated Against Las Cruces Judge

Las Cruces – A judge in Las Cruces has reinstated the indictment of fellow jurist who is accused in a pay-to-play scheme with alleged ties to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

A trial has been scheduled for February for state District Judge Michael Murphy.

Murphy was indicted after being accused of telling a potential judicial candidate that she needed to make payments to a Democratic activist if she wanted to be considered for a seat on the bench in 2007.

Allegations in a report that accompanied his May indictment implied the practice was common in the district and that the payments were funneled to Richardson.

Richardson has called the accusations "outrageous and defamatory."

Judge Leslie Smith had dismissed Murphy's indictment last month.

Prosecutors asked Smith to reconsider the dismissal of the indictment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.