SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The whiff of scandal cost Democrat Bill Richardson a job in President Barack Obama's administration.
Now, the former New Mexico governor's political legacy are threatened again because of investigations into separate pay-to-play schemes, including allegations that campaign contributions influenced his appointment of judges.
Richardson denies wrongdoing, as he did two years ago when he withdrew his commerce secretary nomination because of a federal grand jury investigation.
That investigation ended with no charges against Richardson or his top aides, but the cloud from the allegations didn't go away during the rest of Richardson's term.
In New Mexico, there's been a steady stream of news reports during the past two years about another federal investigation — this one focusing on state investments — and the possibility of corruption in the Richardson administration.
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