Jury selection begins in former senator’s corruption case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Jury selection will begin in a high profile corruption case involving a former New Mexico senator.

Nearly half of the potential jurors for the case have already been eliminated by lawyers and the judge, days before Phil Griego’s trial is set to start.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Attorney General’s Office and Griego’s lawyer agreed last Tuesday to excuse dozens of members of the jury pool.

Those reasons include health issues, travel plans, or complications with work, family duties and expressions of harsh feelings toward politicians.

Griego is accused of abusing his power by pushing the sale of a state-owned building in Santa Fe so he could pocket $50,000.

Attorney General Hector Balderas is pursuing charges of fraud, bribery and ethical misconduct against Griego.

The former senator resigned from the legislature in 2015 at the conclusion of a Senate Ethics Commission investigation.

Griego pleaded not guilty to previous charges he was facing and has maintained that he didn’t break any laws.

Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday in Santa Fe.

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