KUNM

Two Paths To An Ethics Commission

Mar 3, 2015

Credit kmillard92 via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Most New Mexicans think their state government is full of bad apples. The problem is, it’s really hard to tell which ones are good for us—and which ones are rotten.

According to a poll released Monday, three-quarters of New Mexico business leaders say they want the state to have an independent ethics commission. Two proposals moving through the state legislature would do just that.

Democratic Representative Brian Egolf says unlike many of our neighbors, we don’t have an organized way of investigating officials accused of corruption.

“We need to join the 42 other states in this country that already have independent ethics commissions,” Egolf said, “to give the public at large confidence in their state government, confidence that ethics laws are being complied with, and that when there’s an allegation of wrongdoing it’s taken seriously and investigated properly.”

A separate proposal would ask voters to amend the constitution in order to create an ethics commission.

This story is part of a reporting partnership between New Mexico In Depth, KUNM and NMPBS, People, Power and Democracy, that attempts to pull back the curtain on how the New Mexico Legislature works and, in some cases, doesn’t. It's funded by the Thornburg Foundation and the Loeks Family Fund.