This story is a staff report from The Paper.

State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Alb.), NM Legislature Webcast, 3/18/21

,

*Editor’s Note: We have published the letter below in its entirety to demonstrate the frustration felt by alleged victims and their allies at the lack of transparency involved in an investigation of a public official.

The letter below was sent to the leadership of the NM Senate on Friday, July 22 and again this morning to reflect the growing list of signatories (now 28) and the ongoing frequency of interim committee hearings.

Senators,

We write to follow up on the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto brought by lobbyists and numerous women who have had contact with him on legislative business. We understand that the internal investigation, begun in March, has now been completed by an outside attorney and referred to the legislative subcommittee charged with making a determination on whether there is adequate evidence to action on the multiple charges made against Ivey-Soto.

Meanwhile, interim committees of the legislature are meeting with some of the subjects of his harassment testifying before committees on which Ivey-Soto sits. As a committee member, he has the power to cross-examine, embarrass, and even intimidate the very same advocates who have accused him of harassment. He can also influence the outcome of the bills brought by these women.

To avoid this conflicted situation, which could embarrass the legislature as a whole and stifle public testimony, we call upon the Senate leadership to remove Sen. Ivey-Soto from interim committees pending the decision of the internal committee on whether his past conduct is acceptable to his fellow legislators. As you know, we believe Ivey-Soto should not remain in the Senate at all given his record of abusive behavior and uncontrollable temper. Under the current process however, we know that only the Senate as a whole is empowered to make that decision. In the interim, both fairness and decency demand that Ivey-Soto be barred from interim committees.

We are also calling upon the Senate to swiftly complete its internal process and release the full report to the public.

Thank you.

Signed,

Heather Ferguson, Viki Harrison, and Monet Silva, Common Cause

Andrea Serrano, OLÉ

Matthew Henderson, OLÉ Education Fund

Marshall Martinez, Equality New Mexico

Austin Weahkee, NM Native Vote

Ahtza Dawn Chavez, Naeva

Nick Voges

Oriana Sandoval, Center for Civic Policy

Melanie Aranda, Center for Civic Action

JD Matthews, New Mexico Working Families Party 

Kayla Herring, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains 

Miranda Viscoli, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence

Mason Graham, New Mexico Black Voters Collaborative 

Justin Allen, Millions for Prisoners New Mexico

Alissa Barnes, ProgressNow New Mexico

Sachi Watase, New Mexico Asian Family Center

Felipe Rodriguez, NM Dream Team 

Michael Casaus, The Wilderness Society 

Marian Méndez-Cera, EL CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos

Daisy A. Maldonado, Empowerment Congress of DAC

Joan Lamunyon Sanford, NM Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Jessica Lopez Collins, Strong Families New Mexico

Rayellen Smith and Gary Coffin, Indivisible Albuquerque 

Kurt Gutjahr, Climate Advocates Voces Unidas

Sondra Roeuny, Emerge New Mexico 

Jared Berenice Estrada, Dreams in Action NM

Althea Atherton, Atherton Gazetteer

c.c. Raul Burciaga, Director Legislative Council Service

 Jon Boller, Senior Staff Attorney

Senator Joseph Cervantes, member Senate Ethics Committee

Senator Crystal Diamond, member Senate Ethics Committee

Senator Bill Sharer, member Senate Ethics Committee