A public letter was distributed Tuesday by a lawyer for lobbyist Marianna Anaya calling for State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque) to resign over sexual harassment allegations. After publishing deadline, Ivey-Soto did return The Paper.'s call yesterday evening because, as he said, "I'm not a no-comment type of guy."
Asked about the open letter from Anaya released by her attorney at about 3:15pm on Feb. 22, he said that he had not yet read the letter (by about 6:15pm), but had talked to enough reporters to get the gist of what she alleged about his conduct. "I am befuddled and bewildered," he said. "I've known her for years. She and I have had some amazing conversations."
He said that one of those conversations took place in his office and that they had some wine. "Wine tends to defuse the conversation," Ivey-Soto said. "We talked about legislative stuff and I told her how I thought it was going. We were in my office for two to two and a half hours. She said she appreciated the conversation, she appreciated my candor. She felt comfortable enough to come to my office by herself. She was sitting on the couch and I was at my desk at least 4-5 feet away."
Among Anaya's allegations is what she said happened at a 2015 reception at the Drury Hotel. She wrote in the letter that Ivey-Soto groped her at that gathering; the senator said he has no recollection of that reception. But she did recently bring up the alleged incident to him. "I was horrified when she told me that," Ivey-Soto said. "I told her 'That's not something I would do.'"
As to Anaya's mention in the letter that another woman said she had also been harassed by Ivey-Soto, the senator replied, "I don't know what she's talking about."
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