The story below from KOB TV discusses the well-documented situation with Democratic Rep. and Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton. While details are still coming out, there are a few major issues that RGF. has highlighted in the past.
- While New Mexico has a citizen legislature and conflicts are part of the deal, it seems that Stapleton used her dual positions in the Legislature and at APS to commit the crimes she is accused of committing. The Legislature SHOULD prohibit its members from simultaneously being employed by entities (like APS) that they have budgetary control over. It is one thing to work in an industry that may have an issue before the Legislature and perhaps have to recuse oneself. It is another thing entirely to appropriate state dollars for an entity you work for.
- At the VERY least the APS and other government bodies should NOT be able to pay their employees for the time they miss on the job as a legislator in Santa Fe. Rep. Bill Rehm introduce legislation to that effect back in 2015, so this is not a new issue. The practice of publicly-funded bodies like APS paying employees for missed time serving in Santa Fe was described at the time as “Triple Dipping.” Stapleton was engaged in this and other legislators continue to do it.