New Mexico school board member under scrutiny for conviction

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) – A northern New Mexico school board member is under scrutiny after fellow board members were notified of a previously unknown 2002 felony drug conviction.

The Las Vegas Optics reports that supporters of West Las Vegas School Board member Anthony “Leroy” Benavidez are circulating a petition seeking a pardon for Benavidez.

Under state law, felons are not eligible to hold elective office unless they have secured a pardon.

The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office currently is investigating the matter at the state Public Education Department’s request.

A letter obtained by the Optic showed that board chairman David Romero was informed of Benavidez’s conviction in December. Other board members weren’t notified of the situation until early March, when the full board was contacted by the school district’s attorneys.

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