Allegations of sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behavior have escalated for State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, leading to an additional ethics complaint filed against him. A veteran Albuquerque Democrat with a ten-year tenure in the Legislature, Ivey-Soto is now confronted with accusations of violating the Financial Disclosure Act, the Lobbyist Regulation Act, and the Governmental Conduct Act.
The ethics complaint, submitted by Santa Fe-based attorney Daniel Yohalem, alleges that Ivey-Soto capitalized on his position as a source of county clerks’ services, constituting payments for technical aid, legal advice, and lobbying services, thereby contravening state law.
Yohalem has spent over $3,500 in the last few election cycles electing Democrats to the state House and Senate. He appears to be related to Jane B. Yohalem, who was narrowly elected to the New Mexico Court of Appeals in 2020 and retained in 2022. Daniel Yohalem gave Jane Yohalem $5,000 in her 2020 race.
The complaint from Mr. Yohalem claims Ivey-Soto leveraged his political influence for personal and financial gain, causing a conflict of interest by simultaneously serving the county clerks and executing his duties as a state senator, thereby impeding the well-being of his clients and New Mexico residents at large.
Ivey-Soto refrained from directly addressing the claims outlined in the complaint. Instead, he asserted his intention to respond through the channels the New Mexico Ethics Commission provided, stating to the Santa Fe New Mexican, “I’m not going to try it in the media.” He characterized the complaint as a smear campaign aimed at his expulsion from the Legislature, suggesting that its exposure in various news outlets was indicative of its political nature.
The complaint, spanning 20 pages and accompanied by more than 100 pages of corroborative documentation, further alleges that Ivey-Soto consistently failed to fully disclose his financial interests, going so far as to promote legislation that obscured the sources of his compensation while augmenting his personal revenue. It claims that he transformed his for-profit consulting enterprise into a tax-exempt nonprofit organization in contravention of IRS regulations, consequently misleading the IRS.
The complaint also delves into allegations beyond financial improprieties. It contends that Ivey-Soto exploited his legislative position to further personal interests, pointing to previous investigations into his alleged sexual harassment and mistreatment of women within the context of the New Mexico legislature. Allegations include claims of retaliation against women who rejected his advances by obstructing their legislative priorities.
Ivey-Soto has faced a tumultuous period within his own party since a lobbyist accused him of groping her in 2015. Subsequent accusations of harassment and bullying from other women prompted calls for his resignation and reform in handling harassment allegations. While Ivey-Soto denied any wrongdoing, the state Democratic Party distanced itself from him, and he relinquished his chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee and the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee.