New charges against governor’s ex-campaign staffer

November 1, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former campaign [auth] manager for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez faces additional charges of lying to federal agents investigating the hijacking of the campaign’s email system after the governor took office.

A new indictment adds two charges against Jamie Estrada of Los Lunas, who briefly served as campaign manager in 2009 before being ousted by Martinez as she was starting her bid for governor. Martinez was elected in 2010.

Estrada was indicted in May on a dozen counts of intercepting email in the campaign account and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

By taking control of the email system, according to prosecutors, Estrada obtained correspondence by the governor, her staff and political supporters. Some of the electronic messages were later leaked to Martinez critics, who publicly released them.

The new indictment, which was filed in federal district court on Wednesday, adds two counts of making false statements to federal agents.

The indictment also revises an earlier charge of lying to investigators, and Estrada’s lawyer said Friday that’s a “concession by the government that there was no basis for its original allegation against” his client.

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