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Report shows New Mexico Gov paid tens of thousands more than earlier known to settle assault charge

Grisham's latest campaign finance disclosures shows Democrat governor paid former spokesman tens of thousands than previously known

Updated: October 12, 2021 - 11:47am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

New Mexico Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is facing additional scrutiny in connection with her alleged sexual assault of a spokesman several years ago.

According to Lujan Grisham's most recent campaign finance documents, former spokesman James Hallinan was paid $150,000 in settlement money. He alleged Grisham in 2018 poured water on his crotch during a campaign meeting.

The amount appear to be significantly more than was previously known. Hallinan received at least $62,500 in June, according to the Associated Press

In 2019, Hallinan told local news outlets that the incident with Lujan Grisham "really f***ed me up." He alluded to the possibility of  more victims of the governor's "sexual and physical abuse."

New Mexico Republicans have accused the governor of misappropriating taxpayer funds to defend herself against the allegations of harassment and sexual assault. Lujan Grisham is also the chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association. Earlier this year, she said that the accusations leveled against then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo needed to be taken seriously and examined.

"I'm, frankly, in that group of elected leaders, that you believe the individual, you give real credit and credibility there, if you don't, we are re-victimizing brave men and women who come forward," said Grisham around the time the Cuomo allegations began streaming out. 

Lujan Grisham said in June the settlement with Hallinan was to allow her to focus on the pandemic.