The Latest: Tab for secretary of state inquiry tops $17K

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2015 7:31 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The latest on New Mexico's disgraced secretary of state (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Even though impeachment proceedings never got off the ground for former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran, legislative officials say the price tag for a special committee to begin investigating has topped $17,500 so far.

The officials said Tuesday an attorney hired to brief the committee has been paid more than $14,400 and lawmakers received about $3,110 as per diem and mileage for a Sept. 28 meeting.

The bill could go up since the committee is expected to meet at least once more to close out its business.

Duran resigned and pleaded guilty in October to charges involving the use of campaign donations to fuel a gambling addiction. She was sentenced Monday.

She rebuffed calls for her resignation when she was first charged, and lawmakers responded by establishing the committee to investigate the possibility of impeachment.

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4:50 p.m.

Brad Winter has been sworn in as New Mexico secretary of state and says he will fill the role only until voters elect a replacement in next year's general election.

The active Albuquerque city councilor vowed to uphold the Constitution at a brief ceremony in Santa Fe on Tuesday.

Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran resigned in October as she pleaded guilty to charges involving the misuse of campaign donations. She was sentenced Monday.

Winter says he plans to make sure elections are carried out well and that he wants to restore confidence in the agency, which also enforces state campaign finance laws.

Winter says he will continue to serve as a city councilor.

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8 a.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has named Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter as the state's next secretary of state.

Winter fills the vacancy left by Dianna Duran, who was sentenced Monday for funneling campaign donations to personal accounts to fuel a gambling addiction. She resigned in October after pleading guilty to the charges.

The governor's office confirmed Winter's selection after reviewing a number of applications. Spokesman Chris Sanchez says Winter will begin working as New Mexico's top elections official starting Tuesday.

Winter will serve at least through November's general election, when New Mexico voters will elect a new secretary of state.

Elected in 1998, Winter is Albuquerque's longest serving city councilor. He worked with Albuquerque Public Schools for more than 20 years before being named an interim superintendent in 2014.