ADVERTISEMENT

Plea hearing in bribery case linked to Richardson

  • Article by: JERI CLAUSING
  • Associated Press
  • April 18, 2013 - 3:37 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A change of plea hearing is scheduled Thursday afternoon in Las Cruces for a retired judge accused of funneling bribes to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for judicial appointments.

Attorneys in the case have declined comment on whether a deal has been reached to reduce the four felony counts pending against former state District Judge Michael Murphy. But court documents show prosecutors and the defense have agreed to have a new charge filed against Murphy — this one a misdemeanor count of misconduct by a public official.

An agreement to knock the felonies down to a misdemeanor would mark the collapse of a high-profile case that shocked the judiciary two years ago when prosecutors implied the bribes were part of a long-running practice.

Richardson, Lopez and Murphy have vehemently denied the charges.

© 2014 Star Tribune