Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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Representatives of Manny Gonzales’ mayoral campaign will appear before a city hearing officer on Thursday, June 15, to appeal the decision by Clerk Ethan Watson denying his campaign public financing. In a letter to Gonzales dated Friday, July 10, Watson found sufficient evidence of fraud and misconduct by the Gonzales campaign to deny their bid to qualify for more than $600,000 in public financing.

Mayor Tim Keller’s campaign conducted a private investigation alleging 149 accounts of forged signatures by the Gonzales campaign. Keller’s campaign also presented 49 voters who, in official statements, alleged that the Gonzales’ campaign had either forged or used their signatures without their permission.

City Hearing Officer Ripley Harwood will oversee Gonzales’ appeal. A prehearing and hearing are scheduled for tomorrow.

The hearing will be open to the public through zoom at 10 a.m. Mountain Time.

You can access the hearing through the link here.

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