Former Papen aide pleads not guilty in embezzlement case

The New Mexico State Capitol, known as 'The Roundhouse.'
The New Mexico State Capitol, known as 'The Roundhouse.'

LAS CRUCES (AP) – A former aide accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a high-ranking member of the New Mexico Senate has pleaded not guilty.

Stephen Siddall is facing embezzlement and conspiracy charges in the theft of money from personal, campaign and government accounts belonging to Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Siddall entered his pleas during an arraignment hearing Monday.

Siddall served as Papen’s campaign treasurer and was a longtime personal assistant. He was arrested in January.

Police began investigating last year and discovered more than $8,700 in withdrawals from Papen’s Senate account that dated back to 2013. Another $49,000 disappeared from her election account between November 2013 and May 2015, and more than $125,000 went missing from her personal account.

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