- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil is applying to be appointed back to her old job.

Vigil is one of nine people whose names have been mentioned for the position that Republican Dianna Duran vacated last month, the Albuquerque Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1HwPunk ).

Vigil previously went by the name Rebecca Vigil-Giron and on Thursday said she felt qualified for the post because of her past experience.

“I know exactly what I would be in for if I were to be selected,” she said.

Other individuals who have either submitted an application to Gov. Susana Martinez or been recommended for the job include former legislators Sandra Jeff and Janice Arnold-Jones, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver and former Albuquerque City Clerk Amy Bailey, who is the Secretary of State Office’s general counsel.

Duran resigned before pleading guilty to embezzlement and other charges in a criminal case stemming from a fraud investigation into use of campaign donations.

Martinez is expected to announce an interim secretary of state appointment in the coming weeks. Whoever is chosen will hold the office through next year.

A special election will be held in 2016 to select someone to serve out the remainder of Duran’s term, which ends in 2018.

Vigil, a Democrat, served three previous terms as secretary of state but was accused of a number of federal charges including fraud, money laundering and embezzlement, in connection with the awarding of $6 million in federal contracts for voter education efforts.

The case was dismissed in 2012 because it had not gone to trial after more than three years. The next year, the state Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the case on the grounds that Vigil’s right to a speedy trial had been violated.

In her application for the secretary of state position, Vigil said she was “falsely accused of horrific charges.” She said she doesn’t see why accusations would affect her ability to serve.

“I think my 12 years of experience far outweighs allegations and accusations made against my persona,” she said.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com


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