The New Mexico Ethics Commission, established last year by lawmakers, has notified House seat Candidates Karen Whitlock and Rebecca Dow today it will likely dismiss accusations the later violated the Governmental Conduct Act.
Whitlock filed the ethics complaint in September, claiming Dow violated state conflict-of-interest and financial disclosure laws when seeking state grants for the non-profit Appletree Educational Center.
The complaint was filed during the Commission’s blackout period, a 60-day window established in the law to prevent political candidates from filing frivolous complaints to be used as political weapons.
While the Commission is prohibited from responding to the complaint or commenting on it publicly during this period, the accuser can disclose a case, and Whitlock contacted most media in the state with the accusations the week she filed it.
The Commission was established by the legislature last year, after heated debate among lawmakers about how it could be used for political purposes.
In her complaint, Ms. Whitlock alleged that Ms. Dow violated the Governmental Conduct Act, the Procurement Code, and the Financial Disclosure Act. Since the allegations allegedly occurred before July 2019, they are not within the Commission’s jurisdiction, so the executive director is recommending a dismissal of all pre-2019 allegations.
The allegations which Karen Whitlock alleged Dow signed contracts listing AppleTree as the “contractor” will be reviewed by the Commission’s general counsel to formulate a recommendation.
“I am relieved the ethics commission is finally taking steps to address Karen Whitlock’s fraudulent and unethical complaint against me, and the many false statements she made under oath,” said Dow.
“Absent an immediate and honest apology, and retraction of the false claims, Karen Whitlock and her campaign will have to account for the dishonesty and mud-slinging she has brought to this race and inflicted upon our community.”