Bill Richardson Withdraws Commerce Secretary Nomination
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.
“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said Sunday in a report by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”
A federal grand jury is investigating whether a California firm, CDR Financial Products, won a lucrative contract from the state of New Mexico after it contributed at least $110,000 to three political committees formed by Richardson. The grand jury probe was “in a highly active stage” at the time Obama nominated Richardson.