A hearing officer for the N.M. Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against State Representative Daymon Ely filed by N.M. Attorney General Hector Balderas who alleged the Corrales lawyer inappropriately pressured him regarding distribution of payments in the settlement of a lawsuit. The AG submitted a complaint to the Ethics Commission saying that Ely “made threats of official action for his apparent displeasure with our handling” of the case involving Vivint Solar Inc.
Balderas went on to assert that Ely “violated the Governmental Conduct Act by asking State Auditor to investigate the Attorney General’s handing of the Vivint case” and that “Ely’s conduct has been so misinformed in law, and so outlandish, that it becomes highly concerning to me… that not only is [he] willfully attempting to interfere with a law enforcement prosecution, but that he is doing so because he directly benefits as a plaintiff’s lawyer from the information and handling of the case he so outlandishly criticizes.”
(See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXX No.14, September 11, 2021 “State Rep. Daymon Ely Faults Atty. Gen. Balderas for Not Reimbursing Victims of Solar Company.”) But the Ethics Commission hearing officer, Alan Torgerson, threw out Balderas’ complaint, dismissing it with prejudice so that it cannot be re-filed. Torgerson ruled that the allegation against Ely should be dismissed because it is a frivolous and potentially destructive effort to weaponize the Ethics Commission process against a legislator for making legitimate inquiries.”
The hearing officer wrote that the AG’s complaint simply “strings together a series of unsupported personal attacks.” Torgerson sided with Ely by noting that “even if his interests as an attorney were relevant, his specialty is attorney malpractice, and he has no intent to become involved in consumer rights litigation.”