New Mexico Governor regrets spending $13,500 of taxpayer money on groceries and alcohol

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she regrets discretionary spending of taxpayer money that included $6,500 on groceries and alcohol.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, over a six-month period in 2020 spent almost $13,500 from a taxpayer-funded expense account is appropriated by the state Legislature for the governor to spend on functions, events or items that promote the state, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Former Republican Gov. Susana Martinez spent about $470,000 in discretionary funds from 2011 through 2017, or an average of about $68,000 per year.

Lujan Grisham’s spokesperson, Tripp Stelnicki, said Thursday that some of the more than $6,500 grocery bill was used to feed the governor’s cabinet and staff at long meetings during the second half of last year.

Lujan Grisham said Friday during a virtual news conference with reporters that she knew the purchases didn’t look good, the New Mexican reported.

“When people are struggling, should it be fair that residents (of the governor’s mansion) literally have a locked-up grocery store closet … that has libations and catering stuff and food?” the governor said.

News Reporter