Newscity: Councilor’s Trip Investigated, Lujan Grisham Looking For Cabinet Spot, Health Order Extended

Councilor’s Trip Investigated

Joshua Lee
3 min read
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The New Mexico Office of the State Auditor says the Albuquerque City Council spent too much money on a trip.

According to
Albuquerque Journal, State Auditor Brian Colón sent a letter to Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the City Council last week that accused City Councilor Klarissa Peña of violating city policies regarding reimbursement. Colón said his office investigated a 14-day trip to 3 East Coast cities that Peña took in 2019. The investigators reported “several concerning instances of failure to follow and or enforce regulations and policies” during the trip that led to more than $4,000 in extra costs.

Last summer Peña traveled to the National League of Cities conference in Philadelphia, then to New York City for a family trip, then to meet with the state’s congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. The councilor took her family and rode by train, because
she has a fear of flying. Peña defended the New York trip—which was not related to city business—by saying that returning to Albuquerque and then going back to the East Coast two days later would have been more expensive.

The investigation estimated that the trip should have cost $1,916, but the city paid $6,352.

Colón’s letter asked the city to provide a “corrective action plan” within 30 days.

Newscity: Lujan Grisham Looking For Cabinet Spot

For months Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been on the rumored short list of potential running mates for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. While political analysts say it’siincreasingly unlikely that she’ll get the opportunity to serve as vice president, she recently told reporters that she’d be willing to accept a role in Biden’s cabinet.

Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Lujan Grisham has an eye on becoming Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under Biden. The governor is said to have a better chance at obtaining that appointment, due to her previous experience as New Mexico Secretary of Health.

Lujan Grisham’s office told reporters that a role in Biden’s cabinet is only speculative, and the governor’s top priority is still New Mexico.

Newscity: Health Order Extended

The governor has extended a public health order that limits public gatherings through August.

According to
KRQE occupancy restrictions for businesses and churches will remain in place for the time being, and mass gatherings remain prohibited. The governor said that even though restrictions will remain in place, New Mexico’s statistics are improving.

According to a new graph that was presented during a recent press conference, the seven-day average of hospitalizations and deaths was shown to have improved dramatically compared to April and May. Lujan Grisham said if the numbers improve, the state might relax some restrictions by September.
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