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The final days of any passing year are traditionally a time to reflect upon the jumble of people and events that shaped the preceding twelve months – the absurd and the laudable.
The dysfunctional U. S. House of Representatives notwithstanding, my own nominee for the “Notably Absurd Award” would be the New Mexico Finance Authority, whose former officials managed to make it a top scandal in 2012.
It began when news broke that NMFA controller Greg Campbell had submitted a phony (and late) audit on the agency’s 2011 financial affairs to the State Auditor, as required by law.
Let it be noted that connoisseurs of the absurd routinely caution that it is always unwise to promulgate phony audits, but that it is downright dumb to submit phony audits late, if only because tardiness calls attention to itself.
Campbell pled guilty to forgery and securities fraud and was sentenced to five years probation.
In recent days State Auditor Hector Balderas released a PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation into l’affaire NMFA.
That investigation cost New Mexico taxpayers $1 million-plus and prompted Balderas to note that Campbell’s supervisors, including CEO Rick May, bear “significant responsibility” for the environment that allowed Campbell to contrive his phony and belated audit.
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