Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has paid $150,000 to settle a declare of sexual harassment from a former marketing campaign spokesman, in response to monetary paperwork filed Monday.
A marketing campaign finance report from April revealed that Lujan Grisham’s marketing campaign had paid $62,500 to a legislation agency representing James Hallinan, who alleged that the then-gubernatorial candidate had poured a bottle of water on his crotch in entrance of different staffers throughout a gathering after which grabbed his genitals by means of his garments whereas she laughed.
Monday’s submitting included an up to date schedule of funds amounting to $87,500 between April and September, bringing the grand whole to $150,000. The Albuquerque Journal reported that the final fee was made Sept. 29.
Lujan Grisham, who served three phrases within the Home of Representatives earlier than her profitable 2018 run for governor, has repeatedly denied Hallinan’s claims, together with that he struggled to discover a job after leaving her marketing campaign. Marketing campaign spokeswoman Kendall Witmer stated in an announcement to the Journal that the settlement was reached final 12 months “as a result of expense of litigating enterprise disputes and to stop any distraction throughout the top of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Hallinan, who now runs a public relations and political consulting agency, got here ahead together with his declare towards Lujan Grisham in 2019 and alleged he was talked out of reporting it by her then-campaign supervisor Dominic Gabello. Gabello, who has denied that declare, went on to grow to be a senior coverage adviser to the governor earlier than stepping down in April, although he’s prone to play a major function in her bid for reelection subsequent 12 months.
The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Workplace has stated the funds are allowed beneath state legislation as a result of they relate to an employment dispute. The state’s Republican Celebration, in the meantime, accused Lujan Grisham of paying “hush cash” to Hallinan.
“This governor is a routine hypocrite,” occasion spokesman Mike Curtis stated in an announcement Monday. “Throughout former New York Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s intercourse scandal, Lujan Grisham cried out for transparency and a full investigation. When she’s the accused, nevertheless, our Governor sweeps it beneath the rug and pays off her accuser with money, disguised conveniently as ‘authorized bills’ in marketing campaign finance stories.
“The Governor’s newest funds once more expose her hypocrisy and her true character,” added Curtis.
“Sexual harassment is a critical offense, and she or he appears happy to pay her manner out,” Republican Nationwide Committeewoman Tina Dziuk added. “That is offensive, and tells you an awesome deal about her ethical character. She doesn’t deserve a second time period.”
Lujan Grisham has been lambasted over the previous 12 months for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has included among the most stringent public well being orders within the nation. In the meantime, her administration has additionally been criticized for an estimated $250 million overpayment of unemployment advantages amid restricted oversight of fraudulent claims, using an auto-deleting messaging app on the state’s youngster welfare company and missed deadlines for the state to obtain federal training funds.
Monday’s report confirmed Lujan Grisham has raised $2.5 million since April for her reelection bid. Six Republicans have already declared their intent to problem her subsequent 12 months. Amongst them is state Rep. Rebecca Dow, who raised greater than $440,500 since asserting her candidacy in early July. Her marketing campaign stated she has acquired contributions from greater than 1,300 donors.
With Publish wires