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Domenici dinged for call to prosecutor

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By Roger Snodgrass

The Senate ethics committee has given Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a mild warning for his conduct in a telephone call to former U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in October 2006, but concluded that there was “no substantial evidence” of improperly attempting to influence him.

Domenici issued a statement expressing satisfaction with what he considered a favorable completion of the inquiry.

“I regret the distraction this controversy has caused my colleagues, my staff, my family and, most importantly, my constituents,” he said. “Now that this matter has concluded favorably, I am anxious to focus all of my time and attention on the business of the people of New Mexico.”

The inquiry was related to a telephone call Domenici made about the timing of indictments in a corruption case related to a major courthouse construction contract in Albuquerque.

The ethics committee said Domenici’s call created the appearance of a conflict.

“The Committee does find that you should have known that a federal prosecutor receiving such a telephone call, coupled with an approaching election which may have turned on or been influenced by the prosecutor’s actions in the corruption matter, created an appearance of impropriety that reflected unfavorably on the Senate,” the committee wrote to Dominici.


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