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New Mexico Gov Shells Out Tens of Thousands More in #MeToo Payments

Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham faces sexual assault accusations from former staffer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D., N.M.) / Getty Images
• October 11, 2021 2:15 pm

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The #MeToo problems facing New Mexico's governor just got bigger.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D.) has paid her former spokesman James Hallinan, who alleged that she sexually assaulted him in 2018, $150,000 in settlement money, according to her latest campaign finance documents. Hallinan accused Lujan Grisham of pouring water on his crotch and groping him during a campaign meeting.

The $150,000 total is nearly $90,000 more than previously reported—the governor's campaign in April acknowledged paying at least $62,500 to the former spokesman.

Lujan Grisham's alleged assault "really fucked me up," Hallinan told local news outlets in 2019. Hallinan previously alluded to there being more victims of Lujan Grisham's "sexual and physical abuse."

Hallinan's sexual assault accusations have plagued the governor at home. New Mexico Republicans have accused her of misusing taxpayer funds to defend against the allegations.

Lujan Grisham, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, said earlier this year that accusations of sexual misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) needed to be taken seriously.

"I'm, frankly, in that group of elected leaders, that you believe the individual, you give real credit and credibility there, if you don't, we are revictimizing brave men and women who come forward," Lujan Grisham said at the time. Neither Grisham nor the DGA responded to requests for comment about what makes her case different than Cuomo's.

Lujan Grisham has paid Hallinan using her campaign funds, which she raised through Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue. Earlier this year, the platform removed Cuomo while he was an active candidate for reelection.

ActBlue did not respond to a request for comment about Lujan Grisham, who faces multiple accusations of sexual assault spanning over a decade.