State Rep earmarked $230,000 in public pork for brother's construction project
State law requires disclosure of family relationships to projects funded by legislators
Attorney General reviewing deal after ProgressNow files complaint
August 2, 2016
Contact: Pat Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Albuquerque/Corrales – In apparent violation of state law requiring a more thorough vetting process and public disclosure of conflicts of interest, a state representative directed $230,000 in public pork dollars to a construction project designed and managed by his brother, a new complaint filed with the Attorney General alleges.
The Attorney General’s Office confirmed to KRQE on Monday that it is looking into the complaint.
MORE: AG Complaint, Background, Research Documents
The complaint filed on Monday outlines how State Rep. Paul Pacheco (R-23, Corrales, Albuquerque, Sandoval Co.) used his discretion as a legislator to direct capital outlay dollars to a construction project designed and managed by his brother.
Buried in 200 pages of bond disclosure documents are disclosures outlining the unusual responsibilities architect David Pacheco – the brother of State Rep. Paul Pacheco – took on for this project:
“In order to assist the Foundation in the development, design and construction of the Facility, pursuant to the Construction Contract, David Pacheco (the “Architect”) with the assistance of Adwelling Design will work under the Contractor to design the Facility. In addition, the Architect will be responsible for overseeing the construction of the Facility and reviewing and approving the disbursements of the proceeds of the Bonds from the Project Fund for the payment of construction costs in accordance with the provisions of the Disbursing Agreement.”
Disclosure of relationships like this required by law
From 2014 through 2016, Rep. Pacheco, at his sole discretion, sponsored more than $1.2 million in taxpayer-funded capital outlay funds to the project managed by and for the profit of his family, without disclosing such relationship as required by law.
State law requires such disclosure, specifically for construction projects where a legislator’s family member has a substantial interest.
New Mexico’s Governmental Conduct Act, NMSA §10-16-9(A), prohibits the use of state funds for projects – specifically including construction – with any business in which a legislator or a legislator’s family has an interest unless the legislator discloses that conflict and the agreement is reviewed through the public Procurement Code process.
NMSA §10-16-9(A), “A state agency shall not enter into a contract for services, construction or items of tangible personal property with a legislator, the legislator’s family or with a business in which the legislator or the legislator’s family has a substantial interest unless the legislator has disclosed the legislator’s substantial interest and unless the contract is awarded in accordance with the provisions of the Procurement Code..”
Family is clearly defined in the same section as “ an individual’s spouse, parents, children or siblings, by consanguinity or affinity…”
Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico:
In spite of state law that seems to explicitly mentions construction projects by a legislator’s brother, we could not find a single instance where Paul Pacheco ever told the public that his brother and his family’s firm would benefit from his discretionary act.
As legislators head back to Santa Fe to consider how they’ll reallocate state funds to close a growing budget gap, decisions on whose projects to fund and why matter more than ever.
When we saw that all of the funding for this project came from one legislator, in one swoop in a very tight budget year we wanted to know more.
Once we identified the relationship between the architect and builder and the man providing public pork to build it, we put our inquiries on pause and alerted the professionals. The Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit has had a good record of investigating cases like this lately and we think they are best suited to follow up.
A more detailed analysis of capital outlay requests, the history of financing and design for the ASK Academy project and all of the supporting documents are available on progressnownm.org
About ProgressNow New Mexico: Founded in 2012, ProgressNow is the state's largest progressive advocacy organization. With more than 100,000 progressive subscribers, the organization works to elevate progressive policy solutions to New Mexico's problems and increase engagement among voters statewide.
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