Prosecutors, lawmakers spar over New Mexico subpoena powers

Phil Griego
Phil Griego

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A state district court judge has denied temporarily a request to limit testimony from New Mexico lawmakers and their aides in the prosecution of a former state senator on fraud charges.

Judge Brett Loveless ruled Monday that he will consider on a case-by-case basis whether lawmakers can decline to testify by invoking a privilege designed to protect the legislative process.

The attorney general’s office is pursuing fraud and bribery charges against former Sen. Phil Griego, who has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors are gathering testimony from at least five lawmakers, the chief clerk of the New Mexico Senate and staff at the administrative arm of the Legislature.

The Legislative Council Service wants testimony limited to conduct that clearly constitutes possible criminal conduct and areas that don’t compromise legislative immunity.

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