New Mexico considers pension forfeiture in corruption cases

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico lawmakers are proposing a pension-forfeiture law aimed at elected officials who are convicted or plead guilty to corruption charges.

The bill from Democratic Rep. Matthew McQueen of Santa Fe and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque responds to a string of high profile corruption cases against New Mexico elected officials.

The pension forfeiture proposal would erase certain retirement benefits when an elected official is convicted of corruption-related charges such as fraud, bribery, perjury or kickbacks. Elected officials would retain pension benefits accrued during prior government service.

Former state Sen. Phil Griego is awaiting sentencing after a jury found him guilty of fraud and felony ethical violations.

A 2012 campaign finance law allows judges to increase sentences against the value of salary and fringe benefits.

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