ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission (PRC) recently settled a lawsuit in which former transportation compliance bureau chief, Albert Ibarra, claimed he was fired after pushing for an investigation into alleged limousine operating license bribery.
In the lawsuit, Charles Zurek III of Las Cruces claimed he was told by PRC financial analyst Larry Lujan that it was impossible to obtain a state license without paying $5,000 to $10,000, “to grease the wheels.” Zurek never paid the money and was still awarded certification from the state. Ibarra said he learned of the solicitation of Zurek and inquired about the allegation to his supervisor and was later terminated after recommending an independent investigation in March 2005.
Depositions show the PRC obtained an inconclusive private investigation because of insufficient evidence. Lujan denies ever speaking with Zurek and said he doesn’t approve limousine licenses. An attorney for Ibarra said they are pleased with the outcome.
Source: Associated Press