New Mexico Bill: Throw Them Out And Take Their Cash

Mark Moores

  (Santa Fe) There is a new twist to deterring an old problem. What to do with a corrupt government official who will not leave office?

“Throw them out of office immediately upon a felony conviction and turn over their campaign funds to the state,” that is a solution offered by State Senator Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) in his SB 287- Removal from Public Office for Felonies. The bill passed Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee unanimously, it is headed to Senate Judiciary.

Unlike many other anti-corruption initiatives before it, Senator Moores’ bill extends the removal from public office to cabinet secretaries and to anyone appointed to a public board or commission.

“Under my bill, there will be no question about what to do with the seat of an elected public official, cabinet secretary or an appointee who has been convicted of a felony while in office,” Senator Moores said. “The corrupt and disgraced public leader shall be deemed to have resigned from that office immediately upon conviction and the office will be deemed vacant. Plus, all funds belonging to that person’s campaign committee then shall be subject to forfeiture to The Children’s Trust Fund.”

Under SB 287  “Public office” is defined to mean any elected office, any cabinet position, or any appointed position on a public board or commission.