Sunday, October 19, 2008

FBI and US Attorney's Office Investigate GRIP Dealings

The Albuquerque Journal this morning, in a story written by Mike Gallagher and Colleen Heild, reported the FBI and US Attorney's office in Albuquerque are investigating how a financial services firm from Beverly Hills known as CDR got hired for $1.4 million to work on a $1.6 billion bond issue for the Rail Runner commuter train (Belen-Santa Fe) and other highway projects.

According to the Journal, David Rubin, owner of CDR, made $85,000 in campaign contributions to political action committees "close to Gov. Bill Richardson." Rubin made one contribution of $10,000 to the Democratic Governor's Association (Richardson was about to become chair of this organization) four days after CDR was hired as a special adviser on the bond deal, and another contribution of $75,000 to Richardson's Si Se Puede!Boston2004 Political Action Committee (funds were used to pay for Richardson's attendance at the Democratic National Convention in 2004) just before the Finance Authority Staff recommended CDR should get a no-bid deal to manage an escrow account. The Journal reports there do not appear to be any contracts issued for the work of CDR.

The New Mexico Finance Authority, which is composed mainly of cabinet secretaries and other gubernatorial appointees, authorized the work done by CDR, apparently on the basis of a memorandum written by a CDR official to the NM Finance Authority.

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