Estancia News obtained a copy of the independent investigation cited in yesterday’s Special Commission Meeting where a decision was made to pursue legal action against the Torrance County Clerk. The report revealed that Clerk Yvonne Otero asked an employee to provide her prescription opiates. Additionally, Yvonne Otero admitted to using cocaine, “which helps her manage her ADHD”.
Otero, Yvonne - Investigation Report_Redacted
The independent investigator’s report cited text messages from Clerk Otero to the same employee who eventually complained against Otero. The text messages appeared to include two separate exchanges between Otero and the employee where Otero requested the prescription opiate known as Oxycodone”, or “oxys.”
During the first exchange that began November 30th, Otero appeared to request opiates on behalf of a “friend” who wanted confirmation of the dosage. “Are the pills 15s or 30s”, Otero asked. The employee responded “15”. Otero pressed the employee to send a picture of the pill bottle since her “friend” was “freaking out”.
The employee hesitated to send such an incriminating photo, but Otero responded, “…just show me and I’ll calm him down he gets so paranoid lol he’s funny…he over thinks worse than you and I lol.” For reasons unknown, Otero then sent an image of drug paraphernalia to the employee and captioned it, “Had to clean her up so I can get a good hit from ur stuff lol”.
About a week later, Otero appeared to go back to the well, as one might say, and ask the same employee for more “oxys”. Clerk Otero reported to the employee her “friend” (from the prior week) was “very happy lol”. Now Clerk Otero appeared to want four (“4”) “oxys” for her “mom”. Otero’s “mom”, Mary Theresa Otero, is the same who the Libertarian Party complained was employed by Clerk Otero on the Election Board in violation of the Nepotism statute.
On September 20th we learned from the Libertarian Party that the Secretary of State’s Office did not consider it within their purview to act on the Nepotism complaint. The Secretary of State’s response explained in a lengthy response that theirs is not the office to address the complaint. However, the letter did not state whether they would forward the complaint to the appropriate State Office.
We reached out to both the Office of the Secretary of State and the Office of the Attorney General to determine if the complaint had been referred to the Attorney General for review and potential prosecution, given the seriousness of the complaint. As of the time this article was published, we have only heard from the Office of the Attorney General. We were provided the following statement:
“While our office has not received a formal complaint from the Commission, we are monitoring the situation.”Jerri Mares, Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs for the Attorney General
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