Lawyer accuses top aide Keith Gardner of circumventing state email use; But Gardner says it is a lie and a malicious one
On the recording, chief of staff Keith Gardner, right, purportedly says he never uses state email to conduct business because "I don't want to go to court (or) jail."
Bregman says he has two hours of tape of Gardner that will be released Wednesday. But Bregman, a Democrat and potential candidate for governor in 2014, so far has only made public the brief, fragmented recording.
Gardner fired back tonight. He said Bregman had released an intentionally misleading snippet, and that he would bring an ethics complaint against Bregman.
All of this arose because Bregman represents Larry Flynn, who was fired from the state Department of Corrections on allegations of padding his pay sheet and firing a gun on prison grounds to kill a rattlesnake. Flynn also was romantically involved with Lupe Martinez, who was secretary of corrections until she resigned a year ago.
Lupe Martinez said Gardner encouraged cabinet members not to use state email, but to instead rely on their private accounts to avoid scrutiny and electronic records.
Gardner said he gave no such directive.
Below is part is Gardner's statement about Bregman and a fuller transcript of what he said. Gardner says that the transcript shows he was not talking about state email, but about a criminal case involving a child.
He said Bregman, left, is a liar, and that what he has done is a violation of an attorney's ethical obligations.
Bregman IDs witness in sexual-assault case; lies about recording
Gov. Susana Martinez's chief of staff Keith Gardner said this evening he will file a formal ethics complaint with the New Mexico Disciplinary Board against criminal defense lawyer Sam Bregman for unethical conduct that has resulted in the outing of a young female relative of Gardner as a witness in a sexual assault case.
... Bregman stated the recorded private conversation was about conducting government business on private emails, when in reality it was about potential evidence in a sexual assault case involving Gardner's relative that had nothing to do with state government.
"Sam Bregman today crossed the line," Gardner said. "He tried to use a snippet of a private conversation about two young girls in a sexual assault case to mislead the press. He knew what he was telling the press was false and he knew that his actions would result in identifying my female relative in the case. Bregman should be embarrassed as a lawyer and utterly ashamed on a personal level."
... On the recording, Gardner is discussing a sexual assault case involving a school official in which a relative was testifying, and a relative of the man he was speaking with was an alleged victim.
TRANSCRIPT FROM GARDNER, who was speaking to a Brian Powell of Roswell:
Powell: Oh yeah and one of the girls . . . well we’ve got all this stuff and we’ve given it to the cops. So I don’t think they understand the holes they’re digging themselves in professionally at school or at work or even that the school district will do shit. You know what I mean?
Gardner: But that is all discoverable evidence.
Powell: That’s right. They just have to request it or subpoena it, I guess. And they can’t delete it.
Gardner: No. And they can actually confiscate those.
Powell: Yep, so we turned in all the stuff that we’ve got and . . . . .
Gardner: I assume your attorney knows this, but, you know, they do need to look at when those email servers, if they do delete, the email servers will purge themselves at a certain point in time. They need to make sure they get a copy of that. We have gone in actually and forensically pulled, just pulled computers right off people’s desks. I don’t know how their e-mail service works. They may have it stored off-site with imprints at a certain period of time so they can discover those. I pull computers. I forensically look at a computer at least one or two a week from people out there.
Powell: From people looking at nasty sites or . . . ?
Gardner: That or just e-mails they shouldn’t be sending or just doing shit they are not supposed to. So there is a way, yeah. And that see that’s all discoverable. That is why I never e-mail on my state e-mail anything that can come back to bite my ass. It is all done off-line. I never, shit, I never use my state e-mail because it is all done on different stuff ‘cause I don’t want to go to court and jail.
Powell: Sure. But there again, why put yourself in that position to do that?
Gardner: It is not bright. It is not smart.
Powell: You know?
Gardner: But it is emotion and, you know, it is their dad. And I think that is part of it. They think they have to come to his defense. You know, and they don’t understand what a scumbag their dad is. I think it is most of us. You know, there is an inherent side, but the bottom line is the guy is a . . . I mean everybody knows the guy is a dirtbag.