Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Trouble Brewing at SOS

Another top administrator at the Secretary of State's Office -- the second in a week's time -- has been put on paid leave.

This time it's Manny Vildasol, the office manager who recently appeared on a KOB News report openly accusing SOS Mary Herrera of vague "criminal activity" and secretly recording state technicians trying to remove porn viruses from Secretary of State Mary Herrera's laptop computer.

As I reported yesterday, Herrera's spokesman James Flores was put on administrative leave last week. He was supposed to return to work yesterday, but it looks like that didn't happen.

Rudy Martin, a lawyer representing both Vildasol and Flores, said both men recently have talked to the FBI about what they see as wrongdoing in Herrera's office. The FBI can't confirm or deny that.

An interesting tidbit about Flores. According to Martin he is accused of committing what Herrera must see as the ultimate sin: communicating with Santa Fe County Clerk Valerie Espinoza, a major Herrera critic, and with A.J. Salazar, who noisily resigned as election director in March, accusing Herrera of wrongdoing.

Martin said the real reason for putting the two on leave is retaliation for talking to the FBI.

Deputy SOS Francisco Trujillo did not return my phone calls Wednesday to respond to any of this.

Read my story in today's New Mexican HERE