Statement from Congresswoman Heather Wilson

Tuesday, March 6, 2007; 5:44 AM

"I want to comment directly on media reports over the last week concerning the dismissal of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

"Throughout last year, there was extensive reporting and widespread public discussion about corruption in New Mexico. There was a lot of frustration expressed to me by many New Mexicans about the slow pace of federal prosecutions in response to these problems.

"In the fall of last year, I was told by a constituent with knowledge of ongoing investigations that U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was intentionally delaying corruption prosecutions. This allegation was deeply troubling to me. While I shared public frustration with the pace of prosecutions, I have always thought Mr. Iglesias to be an honorable man who would not do something like that.

"I called Mr. Iglesias and told him the allegation, though not the source.

"Mr. Iglesias denied delaying prosecutions. He said he had very few people to handle corruption cases.

"I told him that I would take him at his word, and I did.

"My call was not about any particular case or person, nor was it motivated by politics or partisanship. I did not ask about the timing of any indictments and I did not tell Mr. Iglesias what course of action I thought he should take or pressure him in any way. The conversation was brief and professional.

"If the purpose of my call has somehow been misperceived, I am sorry for any confusion. I thought it was important for Mr. Iglesias to receive this information and, if necessary, have the opportunity to clear his name.

"I never discussed this matter or anything related to Mr. Iglesias'

performance as U.S. Attorney with the Justice Department at any time. The Administration's decision to dismiss David Iglesias was made without input from me and no one in the Administration asked for my input.

"The Department of Justice will have to explain why they let Mr. Iglesias go and why they have made public comments about his performance."

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