NM Elections Official Addresses Ethics Claims

New Mexico – Allegations of ethics violations by Secretary of State Mary Herrera have been swirling for more than two weeks after a scathing resignation letter by a former elections director was leaked and eventually posted online.

Herrera's office has now released a redacted version of A.J. Salazar's letter in response to several public records requests and addressed his allegations in a written statement.

Herrera says there's no validity to his claims and the points in his resignation letter "turn out to have no basis in fact."

Salazar accused Herrera, New Mexico's No. 3 official, of insisting her employees solicit sponsorships from businesses that contract with the state to support elections training seminars.

He also accused her of ordering her exempt employees to gather 1,000 signatures each for her re-election campaign.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.