Cindy Padilla, a top official in New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's cabinet, has resigned following a drunk driving arrest.
The arrest comes just days after Padilla was appointed principal deputy secretary in the Administration of Aging in President Obama's administration. Padilla was slated to start her new position on Nov. 16, but that has been postponed at her request. No new start date has been set.
Because New Mexico has a very strict zero-tolerance DUI policy, Richardson's chief of staff asked Padilla to submit her resignation. According to the police report, two separate chemical tests indicated that Padilla's blood alcohol concentration was .08 and .07. The legal limit in the state of New Mexico is .08.
Padilla served as the New Mexico Secretary of Aging and Long-Term Services. Since her Oct. 26 resignation, Michael Spanier is filling the role of acting department secretary.
Governor Richardson has made DWI enforcement a top priority in his administration, and feels allowing Padilla to maintain her position would be contradicting his stance against drunk driving and hurt his agenda.
Padilla, whose future in the Obama administration is still uncertain, is scheduled to appear at a pretrial meeting on Dec. 9.
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