Prosecutors Defend Handling Of Las Cruces Judicial Probe

Las Cruces – The attorney prosecuting alleged judicial corruption in Las Cruces wants to add the chief judge of the 3rd Judicial District to his witness list.

The addition of Chief Judge Douglas Driggers was included in more than 80 pages of briefs filed Monday by Clovis District Attorney Matt Chandler in the case against state District Judge Michael Murphy. The potential witness list already includes former Gov. Bill Richardson.

Murphy is accused of telling a potential judicial candidate she needed to make payments to a Dona Ana County Democratic activist if she wanted to be considered for a seat on the bench. A report released with the indictment implied the practice was common in the district and the payments were funneled to Richardson.

Richardson and Murphy have denied the charges.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.