What We Do
New Mexico Ethics Watch, founded in 2016, is a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life in New Mexico. NMEW believes that ethical governance and good governance go hand in hand – necessary elements to create a just society and economic opportunity for all. NMEW advances its mission through research, litigation, policy advocacy, and media outreach.
New Mexico is fortunate in that there are a number of entities in the state that already are charged with enforcing the statutes and codes that are meant to ensure ethical behavior. Unfortunately, the enforcing entities do not always act with alacrity. NMEW will use the existing complaint and notification processes in the state to bring possible ethical violations to the attention of the proper authorities, and will work to ensure that complaints that have been filed do not slip below the radar or get swept under the rug.
Everyone is concerned that our elected officials and other state officials act in the public interest, not their private interest. Yet New Mexico’s disclosure requirements are so anemic that it is hard to tell whether a conflict exists. NMEW will work to establish a more robust disclosure regime in the state so that the public can better monitor whether those running the state are working for the people, or for themselves.
New Mexico is one of a handful of states that do not have a statewide ethics commission, a shameful lack of accountability in a state that is regularly beset by ethics scandals. Yet merely having an institution called an “Ethics Commission” will not be enough – a toothless or shell commission would do more harm than having no commission at all. It is imperative that an ethics commission have the following core elements:
- be grounded in the state Constitution;
- be independent of influence from any one branch of government;
- have enforcement power, including independent investigatory and subpoena powers, and the ability to initiate an investigation absent a complaint;
- operate so that the commission is transparent in its operations, especially in the manner in which it handles complaints, including regular reporting on the activities of the commission;
- and process complaints in a timely fashion.
Who We Are
Douglas H. M. Carver, Executive Director – Douglas was made the first Executive Director of New Mexico Ethics Watch in July 2016. Prior to coming to Ethics Watch, Douglas worked for five years as a staff attorney for the New Mexico Legislative Council Service, where he was worked with the Legislative Ethics Committee, served on two impeachment subcommittees formed by the House of Representatives, and drafted legislation concerning ethics and elections. He was also the lead staff for the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee and the Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee. Douglas has prior experience working for the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission. Douglas is a graduate of Yale University, Trinity College Dublin, the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
Abby Feldman, Communications Director
Lucy River, Research Director
Our Board Of Directors
The Board of New Mexico Ethics Watch reflects NMEW’s commitment to a non-partisan approach to state ethics. The NMEW Board draws on the experience of individuals who have longstanding experience with ethics and good governance in the state.
Justice Richard Bosson (retired), Chair
Vic Bruno, Treasurer
Phil Davis, Secretary
How To Donate
Thank you for your interest in supporting New Mexico Ethics Watch! Your support is critical to helping us in our mission.
New Mexico Ethics Watch is presently under the fiscal sponsorship of the New Mexico Community Foundation. Donations to support NMEW’s work can be made in one of the following ways:
1) BY CHECK: You can send a check made out to the New Mexico Community Foundation, with “donation to NM Ethics Watch” written in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to the New Mexico Community Foundation at 135 W Palace Ave, Suite 301, Santa Fe, NM 87501.
2) ON LINE: To donate on line, follow these steps:
a. Go to the following link: NETWORK FOR GOOD
b. Put the amount of the donation and its frequency in the “Donation” field;
c. Important step! Further down the page, where it says “If you have a special purpose for your donation, please let us know”, chose New Mexico Ethics Watch from the drop down menu under “I want my donation to be designated toward”;
d. Click “Donate Now”.
Donations to NMEW through the New Mexico Community Foundation are fully tax-deductible. You will receive an acknowledgement from them for your tax records. Once NMEW achieves its independent 501(c)(3) status, donations will be able to be made directly to us. But for now, we are ever so grateful that the New Mexico Community Foundation is helping us to raise the ethical bar in New Mexico.