SANTA FE (KRQE) – House Speaker Don Tripp announced on Wednesday that he has created a Special Committee of the House to investigate the charges against Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
Duran is accused of embezzlement and money laundering. She is facing 64 criminal charges, including a number of felonies, following an attorney general investigation that found she was funneling campaign donations into her personal bank accounts and spending the money at casinos.
Tripp released this statement about the decision:
“Given the serious nature of the allegations made by the Attorney General against the Secretary of State, I believe the appropriate and responsible next step for the House of Representatives is to begin the process of determining whether these charges have merit and rise to the level of impeachment. Therefore, I am creating a Special Committee of the House made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, who I will appoint after getting recommendations about the Democrat appointees from the Minority Floor Leader. I have sent a letter to Sen. Mary Kay Papen, my co-chair of the Legislative Council, asking that we place the funding of an investigative committee on the agenda for the next meeting which is scheduled for September 15, 2015. I have also sent a letter to the Attorney General letting him know of the creation of this House Special Committee and asking him to share the case file with the committee so that they can review the evidence.”
The purpose of the committee is to decide whether or not to continue with the impeachment of Duran.