Richardson won't face charges in federal probe

The New Mexico governor was part of an investigation into a pay-to-play scheme

Published August 27, 2009 3:01PM (EDT)

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appears to have successfully weathered the federal investigation that cost him a spot as secretary of Commerce. The Associated Press reports that Richardson and former top aides will not be charged in the investigation, which was looking into an alleged pay-for-play scheme.

Decisions about charging high-ranking political figures are generally made in consultation with main Justice back in Washington, D.C., which typically has final say. That appears to be what happened here, as the AP reports the decision "was made by top Justice Department officials." The AP's source doesn't appear to be happy about it, saying, "It's over. There's nothing. It was killed in Washington."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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