On Thursday, Jason Tatz, the chairman of the Retired Law Enforcement Officers Measure Finance Committee, filed a bombshell ethics complaint showing direct fraud tied to incumbent Mayor Tim Keller’s bid to keep his seat and qualify for public financing.
The news comes after the Keller campaign alleged fraud in Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales’ bid for financing, with signatures allegedly not matching voter files, among other points. The City Clerk, in turn, denied Gonzales public financing pending a hearing where the Sheriff will make the case for the funding to be restored. Keller has reportedly received public financing.
Gonzalez denies accusations, but it appears his allies have much ammunition to throw right back at the Keller campaign regarding alleged fraud.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the complaint “contains an affidavit [which would mean jail time under the penalty of perjury if proven untrue] signed by Albuquerque firefighter Shawn McDonald alleging that the union leader asked firefighters to sign $5 donation cards on Keller’s behalf and that he told them that he’d cover the required $5 donation, a violation of city law.”
The report notes:
In the affidavit filed with Katz’s complaint, McDonald — the Albuquerque firefighter — alleges that his fire station received a visit June 1 from the president of the Albuquerque Area Fire Fighters Local 244. The affidavit doesn’t name the union president, but accompanying receipts for the qualifying contributions were submitted by Cheney, who is president of the local firefighters union.
Neri Holguin, the far-left campaign manager for Keller and who has consulted on other races, such as for porn actor Roger Montoya, tried to laugh off the complaint, saying, “There’s no equivalency between the widespread fraud and admitted forgery by Manny Gonzales’s campaign and our campaign. There’s no evidence and there’s no merit to it.”
But Keller has been previously found guilty of ethics violations by the City’s Board of Ethics, which “found that mayoral candidate and state Auditor Tim Keller violated the City Charter’s Elections Code and the Open and Ethical Elections Code,” according to the Journal. These charges were based on the Keller campaign’s fraudulent activity.
Now, voters will see if the Keller campaign will also be stripped of its public financing amid fraud allegations and affidavits signed under penalty of perjury insisting the Mayor fraudulently qualified for financing.