Digital News Report-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination to be commerce secretary. He cited a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state as the cause. On Sunday he stated that, “the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation.”
Richardson’s nomination was announced on December 3rd, 2008. He has been the Governor of New Mexico since 2002 after serving seven terms as a US Congressman. He also served as an ambassador to the United Nations in 1997 and the U.S. Secretary of Energy starting in 1998.
President-elect Obama released a statement that said, “Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office.”
Richardson insists that he and his staff are innocent of any wrongdoing. Richardson’s spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, said, “the governor is confident that he will be cleared.” Richardson also stated that he was withdrawing because, in this economic situation, he, “could not in good conscience ask the president-elect and his administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done.”