Wednesday, September 27, 2023

State Dem Party Severs Public Ties With Senator

Growing List of National Organizations Call for Action and Accountability

Posted

On Tuesday, after a growing tide of frustration at the lack of action and accountability taken against NM State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto over accusations of sexual harassment, at least 29 national organizations signed a letter demanding Ivey-Soto step down. The letter also urges that the senator be held accountable after multiple women came forward last year with sexual harassment allegations and a formal complaint against the senator was lodged by a female lobbyist.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico has also taken steps to publicly distance themselves from the legislator. “DPNM has severed ties with Senator Ivey Soto within our internal party affairs. He has been told by phone that he is not welcome at our events," the party said in a statement. "We have individually disinvited him from past and future DPNM events and he no longer serves on any DPNM committees or caucuses or as the regular DPNM parliamentarian, which he was for years. After being highly involved in internal DPNM affairs for years, he is no longer welcome to have any role within DPNM.”

DPNM said the move was a direct result of the “credible accusations and subsequent investigation.” Ivey-Soto has not officially been removed from the party.

Legislative Inaction

After mounting pressure from community activists and other legislators at the lack of action taken by legislative leaders, Ivey-Soto was removed from all leadership roles in legislative committees last year.

This year, legislators passed a bill that laid out professional political standards of conduct, and lifted a confidentiality clause that allowed complaints filed against legislators to remain confident. While Ivey-Soto faced an internal investigation, the results of that investigation were never released.

To date, there have been accusations of eight incidents of harassment, sexual and otherwise, by Ivey-Soto against several women, many of them lobbyists, and a few of which were witnessed by others.

There are also allegations that Ivey-Soto screamed in the face of a school colleague while pinning her against a wall while he was in graduate school at UNM; the incident was investigated and confirmed. 

When the initial accusations were filed last year, The Paper. spoke with Ivey-Soto, who denied any form of harassment toward her or other women. "I am befuddled and bewildered," he said.

Ivey-Soto previously served as Associate Deputy Secretary of State of New Mexico for Elections, Ethics & Legal and was the New Mexico State Elections Director.

No charges have been filed so far against the legislator. Ivey-Soto's term runs through the end of 2024. 

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