- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on evidentiary hearings against former New Mexico Sen. Phil Griego (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

The New Mexico attorney general’s office says it will present evidence that former Sen. Phil Griego used his influence over the legislative process as a lawmaker to profit from the sale of a state owned building as a real estate broker.

Assistant Attorney General Zach Jones on Tuesday described Griego as a sophisticated politician who communicated with state officials, fellow lawmakers and legislative staff to help approve the sale of a state owned building in downtown Santa Fe, and later earn a commission as a real estate broker without proper disclosure.

Defense attorney Thomas Clark says the evidence will show that prosecutors are overreaching. He said Griego was hired by a private party to help negotiate the purchase of a state building because of Griego’s knowledge as a real estate broker, and not to exert political influence.

Griego has pleaded not guilty to charges that include fraud, bribery, tampering with public records and unlawful interest in a public contract.

4:00 a.m.

A New Mexico district court is scheduled to begin hearing testimony from state lawmakers on accusations that former Sen. Phil Griego used his public office to profit from the sale of a state-owned building.

Griego has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, bribery and tampering with public records. Four days of evidentiary hearings are scheduled to start Tuesday at a courthouse in Albuquerque to decide whether the case warrants a trial.

State District Judge Brett Loveless has ordered state lawmakers and their staff at the Legislative Finance Committee to testify at the hearings, overruling efforts to limit the scope of questioning ahead of time.

Griego resigned from the Senate last year after acknowledging to a Senate investigative subcommittee that he violated the state Constitution.

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