Gallegos, others indicted in housing authority case
This article has been updated.
Former Region III Housing Authority Director Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos and others have been indicted by grand juries in the long-standing investigation into the misuse of bond money in the state’s affordable housing system.
Phil Sisneros, spokesman for Attorney General Gary King, confirmed that indictments had been filed against Gallegos, Albuquerque bond attorney Robert Strumor and former Region III employees David Hernandez and Dennis Kennedy. He provided no other details, including the charges that have been filed, and said the AG’s office would release no further information.
The investigation into the housing authority scandal has spanned three years. Two separate grand juries have met in the case in recent weeks. One, the Albuquerque Journal has reported, returned an indictment last week related to a $300,000 loan Region III made to its then-executive director Gallegos in 2006. But that indictment remained under seal because the other grand jury had not completed this work.
Apparently, the work was completed today.
The scandal first captured headlines in 2006 when Region III defaulted on $5 million in bonds it owed the state. The State Investment Council (SIC) and state auditor have found widespread misuse of the bond money, which was supposed to be spent on houses.
The misuse included the $300,000 loan to Gallegos, the man at the center of the scandal, under the guise of purchasing more than 30 lots in Las Cruces — lots that had already been purchased by the authority. Gallegos repaid the loan before he resigned in 2006.
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