- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SANTA FE, NM (AP) - A criminal fraud and bribery complaint against former New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego has been reassigned to a new judge for the ninth time.

Santa Fe District Court Judge David Thomson was handed the case Tuesday. Griego’s attorney excused Judge Sarah Singleton without explanation under provisions designed to ensure impartiality.

Griego pleaded not guilty at a Monday arraignment to criminal counts including fraud, bribery, perjury and tampering with public records. He was released on his own recognizance without a bail requirement.

If one more judge is excused, the next would need to be called in from another district or out of retirement.

Previously, seven judges recused themselves from the Griego case. Delays in the case have highlighted ties in Santa Fe among politicians and judges.

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