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NM Gov. Grisham paid $87.5K more than initially disclosed in ‘crotch-grabbing’ sexual misconduct case

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From her campaign coffers, New Mexico’s Democrat governor has settled a sexual harassment complaint for bigger bucks than was originally disclosed.

Based upon prior information, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is seeking reelection in 2022, paid a former campaign worker $62,500 in an incident that perhaps gives a new meaning to ‘lockdown.’

It has now been revealed through updated mandatory campaign finance documents that the Grisham campaign ponied up an additional $87,500 to the accuser via the law firm representing him on an overall installment plan after the man accused her of grabbing his crotch.

According to the Democrat secretary of state, “the settlement payments are an allowable expenditure under the state’s campaign finance laws since they relate to an employment dispute with a former campaign staffer,” the  Albuquerque Journal reported.

Grisham’s political committee apparently made the last payment of the final amount of $150,000 settlement on September 29.

“[James] Hallinan accused Lujan Grisham in late 2019 – about a year after he left the campaign – of pouring a bottle of water on his crotch and then grabbing his crotch through his clothes as she laughed, an incident he said took place in front of other campaign staffers during a meeting in 2018. Hallinan… told the Journal he was talked out of reporting the incident by [Grisham] campaign manager Dominic Gabello, who went on to work in the Governor’s Office before stepping down at the end of April,” the Journal recalled.

Through a spokeswoman, Lujan Grisham implied in a self-serving statement that she only settled the case for what is sometimes called ‘nuisance value’ in legal circles.

The Governor, Dominic Gabello, and New Mexicans for Michelle unequivocally deny the false, dubious, and meritless claims made by Mr. Hallinan and feel certain the claims would have been disproved in court. The settlement resolved suspect and varied claims made by Mr. Hallinan, including his search for employment and clients following his tumultuous tenure on the 2018 campaign. The campaign reached this settlement in 2020 due to the expense of litigating business disputes and to prevent any distraction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Lujan Grisham will continue to work tirelessly for the people of New Mexico, delivering on record economic growth, educational investment, and tax cuts for New Mexico’s families — all while leading the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

“She claims to be innocent, but most innocent people do not pay off their sexual accusers in hush money, especially to the tune of hundreds of thousands of donors’ money,” the New Mexico-based, Pinon Post conservative news and opinion website opined.

“Other than an economic catastrophe caused by Lujan Grisham leading to at least 40% of small businesses being crushed, millions of dollars have vanished from public agencies and her administration has seen some of the highest turnover in state history, with over 24 cabinet members jumping ship,” the website claimed.

“Throughout her pleas for campaign cash, Lujan Grisham has gone a nasty route, bashing Republican opponents as ‘climate deniers’ who belong to the ‘party of anti-masking.’ With the sexual assault settlement, 6% of her donors’ funds are going to alleged groping victims,” the website separately added.

National Democrats, from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on down, are reportedly pouring cash into the governor’s reelection bid.

Over the summer, the secretary of state’s office also determined that it was a legitimate campaign expense for Lujan Grisham to pay her daughter $6,000 for hair and makeup services. A complaint on that matter before the state ethics commission is apparently still pending.

Separately, Grisham has previously come under criticism for spending about $13,000 of taxpayer money for groceries, dry cleaning, and adult beverages last year.

In May 2020, she faced charges of hypocrisy for allegedly making a frivolous jewelry purchase during a statewide lockdown that she ordered.

There are at least six GOP candidates so far who are officially running in the Republican primary to replace Lujan Grisham. A spokesman for the state GOP asserted that “This governor is a habitual hypocrite. During former New York Gov. Cuomo’s sex scandal, Lujan Grisham cried out for transparency and a full investigation. When she’s the accused, however, our Governor sweeps it under the rug and pays off her accuser with cash, disguised conveniently as ‘legal expenses’ in campaign finance reports.”

President Joe Biden had considered Lujan Grisham to potentially lead the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, but ultimately chose California Attorney General Xavier Becerra instead. Neither apparently have any health- or science-related education or training.

“Lujan Grisham has been lambasted over the past year for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has included some of the most stringent public health orders in the nation. Meanwhile, her administration has also been criticized for an estimated $250 million overpayment of unemployment benefits amid limited oversight of fraudulent claims, the use of an auto-deleting messaging app at the state’s child welfare agency and missed deadlines for the state to receive federal education funds,” the  New York Post noted.

Robert Jonathan

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