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Richardson Cleared in New Mexico Pay-to-Play Investigation

That’s what The Associated Press is reporting, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the investigation.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won’t be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor’s large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.

The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.

“It’s over. There’s nothing. It was killed in Washington,” the person told The Associated Press.

A federal grand jury began an investigation in 2008 into a possible pay-to-play scheme in which lucrative work on state bond deals went to a Richardson donor.

News of the probe forced Richardson to withdraw his nomination to be President Obama’s commerce secretary in January.

Update: The New Mexico Independent, which has been following this story from the beginning, has the background.

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