In October 2008, former Senate President Manny Aragon pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges for his part in a scheme to steal $4.4 million from the state during construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse. The sordid scandal shocked the state and sent one of its most powerful men to prison.

At the time, Aragon’s fellow Albuquerque Democrat, Sheryl Williams Stapleton, was running for re-election and scored an easy win. She was then a rising star. The first African American woman elected to the state House, Stapleton had served 14 years, was House Majority Whip, and had chaired the New Mexico Democratic Party.

In 1999 she and Aragon carried a bill that created the state Office of African American Affairs.

As Aragon was trading his suits for

Read More At Article Source | Article Attribution