The Albuquerque Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices ruled that Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales violated city code when staff forged voter signatures and paid voters’ $5 qualifying contributions in order to get Gonzales on the ballot for Albuquerque mayor.
The Board assessed $2,000 in fines, $1,500 for forging signatures and $500 for paying voters’ $5 contributions.
It also issued an official reprimand “for his failure to exercise the expected level of oversight over his campaign with respect to the question of qualifying contributions.”
During the nearly three-hour hearing, lawyers for Gonazles acknowled that some of the signatures were in fact forged, but not enough that they would have been needed to meet the threshold for Gonzales to make it on the ballot.
This is the second such Ethics Board ruling against Gonzales.
The first one came on August 27 when the Board fined the campaign $500 for allegedly telling a voter that the campaign would take care of the required qualifying contribution.
Gonzales has already been denied public campaign financing for the violations. He appealed to district court (twice) as well as the state Supreme Court.
He faces incumbent mayor Tim Keller, a fellow Democrat, and Republican Eddy Aragon in the November 2, 2021 election.