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Responding to unsubstantiated accusations

Mary Herrera

I will respond to the unsubstantiated accusations I have seen in media reports made by some former disgruntled employees.

Porn on the computer – My laptop was running slow, so I had my IT staff diagnose the problem. A malware intrusion was discovered. The IT staff wiped the laptop clean and reinstalled the operating system and software.

From this, a disgruntled employee spread the rumor about porn being discovered on my laptop and allegedly reported this to the FBI. After investigations, we discovered this same employee was the first to have a malware intrusion on his desktop, which could have infected other computers.

Having employees campaign or prepare for social functions during state time – That is strictly forbidden. I expect each employee to put in a full day’s work before receiving their paycheck funded by taxpayers. Leave must be pre-approved for employees requesting time off for non-work related purposes, and our office records prove this.

“Pay to play” or “shaking down firms” – My staff looked into having vendors provide refreshments for a county clerk training session, which had been done for decades (less than $500 for drinks and snacks). Legal counsel assured us this practice was not illegal but advised us to seek sponsorships from multiple vendors. Instead, I immediately put a stop to it.

Is this pay to play? It is common practice for government groups such as legislative committees, professional organizations and associations of government officials to have “privately sponsored” dinners and receptions. Most sponsored events cost significantly more than $500. A TV news report about a month ago described a “privately sponsored” meeting of government officials at a cost of $200,000.

• Another allegation was that I requested employees to get 1,000 petition signatures for me to qualify for the ballot in the primary election – It was not required that any of my employees collect petition signatures. If some were collected, I appreciated the assistance. I submitted over 10,000 signatures to qualify for the primary ballot.

Who got the signatures? I collected approximately 7,000 myself. I’m a tireless worker. The rest came from family, good friends and supporters and I am grateful to them for their assistance and continued support.

Credibility of unsubstantiated allegations by disgruntled employees


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Do disgruntled employees have the credibility to discredit the reputation of an elected public official, without providing any evidence to their allegations? Should their continued antics and staged incidences be prominently reported by the press? Has anyone noticed the numerous incestuous associations between this group and my opponent’s supporters, working furiously to damage my reputation?

The media has an obligation to establish the credibility of individuals making such allegations, to assure that their allegations are supported by solid evidence, and to provide fair and balanced reporting to the public.

Have reporters established the credibility of these allegations based on solid evidence? If reporters haven’t done their homework to determine the credibility of allegations by disgruntled employees, they have contributed to the unfair character assassination of a dedicated public servant.

“At-will” employees

Did I fire whistleblowers? No, that’s against state law. I let go two “at-will” employees who were exempt from the classified personnel system. The “at-will” employees I hire are my core management team, expected to be hard-working, loyal, support the goals and initiatives of my administration and set the standards for other employees. They are paid well. Each elected official hires a certain number of at-will employees.

In general, at-will employees can be terminated at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. If an at-will employee is disloyal, not accomplishing assigned tasks, is absent without approved leave, unproductive toward my goals and initiatives, creates a hostile work environment affecting other employees, snoops within agency records to obtain confidential information, or disseminates false and misleading rumors internally or external to the agency to undermine my administration, I would consider terminating them.

Conversely, if an employee dislikes working in my office, they have the freedom to leave.

Personal character

I am proud of my accomplishments and I am confident that my leadership of the office has been carried out with honesty and integrity to benefit the citizens of New Mexico. It is a great honor and privilege to serve as New Mexico secretary of state, and I ask for your support to bestow this honor on me once again.

Herrera is the secretary of state and a Democrat seeking re-election this year.

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7 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. Ms Herrera: And when we vote you out of office, and Dianna Duran in, will that only be caused by a disgruntled electorate?

  2. Well Juniors.. could you provide some evidence? You’ve made a number of charges, how do you prove them.

    Ms Herrera inherited a mess, she cleaned it up… and managed in the process to make sure that we ran such an efficient election in 08 that she was invited to testify before Congress on how she did it.

    She has never been anything less than forthright and honest .. I really don’t think she knows how to operate any other way…

    When someone can prove something then we’ll talk, so far all there has been in gossip and innuendo. Reminds me of the way Karl Rove likes to run a campaign.

  3. Do disgruntled employees have the credibility to discredit the reputation of an elected public official, without providing any evidence to their allegations?

    Mary, all I know is that your office and the people that work in your office have created a hailstorm of controversy and accusations against you. I don’t know you, but from a PR standpoint you are a disaster. I have been in private business long enough to know that if there is a criticism or two – take it with a grain of salt – but if there is a pathological pattern of accusations against you, then, the R party is either doing a really good job at discrediting you (which I doubt the R party is that adapt at doing), or there is truth (at least a modicum) to the slings and arrows flown your way.

  4. This rant is actually a cry for help. It justifies a two-week commitment to the state hospital in Las Vegas for observation and, most likely, treatment. Her family/staff/BFFs–and Democratic Party “leadership” as well–must cease their denial and step in before Mary harms herself even more–draw up the commitment petition today and see to it that this disturbed woman gets the help she needs.

  5. I have been following this back-and-forth without the slightest clue whom to believe. And yet it does not sort out into a wait-and-see, benefit-of-the-doubt, or innocent-until-proven-guilty situation. Herrara’s answers look entirely too pat, and characterizations of employees as “disgruntled” sounds too convenient. Anyone whose response to criticism is “no dirt on my whites” is too goody-goody to be credible. Thumbs down.

  6. So there, the case is closed, the issue is fully explained and there is nothing going on, move along! Is that you writing Don Francisco?

  7. WOW!

    For one thing, Herrera did not prepare this response. She does not have the ability to prepare such a statement as this. Anyone who has witnessed her writings, or her public speaking abilities (or inabilities) knows that someone wrote this for her, just as they do her Facebook account.

    Like I said recently as I commented to another story on this site, she is a Spin Dr. According to her, the former employees are disgruntled. The county clerks, in addition to being “problematic,” are disgruntled. The media has it out for her.

    In her reponse, she mentions a “full days work.” She should not comment on things she knows nothing about.

    Herrera will NEVER admit to any wrongdoing, as witnessed when a discriminating e-mail from her former Public Information Officer was made public. The e-mail showed that Herrera pressed Flores to get involved with the Republican Party so they wouldn’t run anyone against her. She also threw State Treasurer James Lewis under the bus by saying that she had a conversation with him, in which he stated that he would get rid of government exempt employees that did not support him.She actually denied saying what she said in the form of an e-mail.

    “Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music” “Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music” Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music”

    That’s what Herrera sounds like, a broken record.

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