Friday, May 20, 2011

Martinez Takes Aim at Omni

An executive order signed today by Gov. Susana Martinez seems to be aimed at a Santa Fe company involved in a recent bribery case.

The order apparently affect Omni Development, which still has contracts with the state despite the fact that its president Anthony Moya went to prison for embezzling from Kewa Pueblo (formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo.)

Omni was implicated, but not charged, in the recent bribery case involving former state Corrections official Laurie Chapman. The indictment, which a grand jury issued last month, says Omni paid bribes to Chapman.

The order applies to contractors who have been convicted of embezzlement, fraud, theft, bribery and other charges in the past three years.

Moya was convicted in early 2009, pleading guilty to one charge of embezzlement in a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In the plea agreement, he admitted to misusing some $312,000 in tribal money.

However, Moya's company has continued doing business with the state. As I reported last month, Omni has been awarded at least $8.6 million in state contracts in the past two fiscal years. Records available at the state Sunshine Portal indicate Omni has been paid nearly $965,000  in the current fiscal year.

Last month a federal grand jury charged Chapman, 50, with taking $237,080 in bribes from Omni in exchange for choosing the company for numerous construction projects worth about $4 million. The projects involve federal Department of Justice funds. Omni's payments to Chapman allegedly took place between 2007 and 2009.

Moya, though named as the "briber" wasn't charged. His lawyer last month wouldn't comment on whether Moya was cooperating with the government in the case against Chapman.

UPDATE: 3:09 p.m. My original figure on the amount Omni has been paid this year was way low. I've corrected it.

Here's the executive order itself.

Executive Order to Suspend or Disallow State Business with Firms that Violate Public Trust