Listening to for denial of public funding for Sheriff Gonzales’ marketing campaign for Albuquerque mayor
His campaign demands that the city clerk reverse his decision to withhold more than $ 600,000 in public funds.
The complaint filed against Gonzales alleges dozens of fraudulent signatures were made in order for the mayoral candidate to receive taxpayers’ money for his campaign.
It’s a claim Gonzales and his lawyer do not deny.
“In fact, many of those who questioned them were correct and appeared to be fake,” said attorney Carter Harrison, who represents Gonzales.
However, they argue that even with these counterfeits they should get the funds as they still met the criteria with verified signatures.
Harrison also claimed that by denying the sheriff the public funds, he was also denying those who actually paid the $ 5 in support of Gonzales.
“Voters overwhelmingly voted to give Sheriff Gonzales public funding,” Carter said.
Another issue with the claims during a campaign meeting where Gonzales tried to collect signatures for public funding, he told one of his constituents that they would not have to pay the $ 5 contribution. Instead, he allegedly said he would pay for it.
The sheriff denied this offer.
“I never heard him say that and I got the impression he paid,” said Gonzales.
No decision was made on Thursday. The Hearing Officer has three days to decide whether Gonzales is in a position to receive taxpayer money.
If the official rules against Gonzales, his campaign could again appeal the decision and go to the district court.