SANTA FE, NM (AP) – The final price of a settlement reached by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and a former campaign spokesperson to settle the harassment charges is now $ 150,000.
The latest round of payments was disclosed in a mandatory campaign finance report that the Democrat’s campaign filed on Monday. The biannual expense and contributions report shows the incumbent raised $ 2.5 million for her re-election bid as several Republicans vie for the post.
Staff member James Hallinan had accused Lujan Grisham of dropping water on his crotch and then grabbing his crotch in the middle of a campaign staff meeting ahead of the election – accusations the governor denies. Lujan Grisham said earlier this year that she decided to resolve the case because she wanted to focus her attention on the pandemic.
When asked if there had been other financial settlements and nondisclosure agreements of a similar nature, the governor said no.
Lujan Grisham’s political committee paid an additional $ 87,500 over the past six months to a lawyer from Hallinan, who now runs a public relations and political advisory firm. The political committee said in an April campaign spending report that it paid $ 62,500 as part of the settlement.
Campaign spokeswoman Kendall Witmer told the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday in a statement that the settlement was reached in 2020 “because of the costs of trade litigation and to avoid distraction at the height of the COVID pandemic. 19 “.
The settlement drew criticism from Republicans and it could be used as campaign fodder by rivals in the gubernatorial race. And while the governor has defended her handling of the pandemic, she has been the target of criticism over public health mandates.
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