A former aerospace company executive accused embattled Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and several members of her administration of retaliating against him after he turned whistleblower against them.
Zach DeGregorio, the former Chief Financial Officer of Spaceport America, has accused Alicia Keyes of asking him to falsify an economic impact statement. He has accused keys of mishandling a bond refinance in order to commit fraud against the state.
When DeGregorio tried to report the incident, he was threatened with an investigation and his firing. DeGregorio resigned from his position at Spaceport America in 2020.
He accused Executive Director Daniel Hicks of violating several state laws, including “possible waste and abuse of taxpayer funds.” He sued the company and accused Hicks of trying to break into his email account. He resigned after he discovered that tracking software had been installed on his computer.
DeGregorio claims that Virgin Airways and its CEO, Richard Branson had bribed New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in order to get her to grant them “essential business” status during COVID-19 shutdowns.
People from her office met with Virgin Airways shortly before Grisham made changes to the NM Spaceport Authority. That included staffing changes and a change in operating procedures that benefited Virgin Airways and was detrimental to other customers and the people of New Mexico.
Grisham later attended the launch party for Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, VSS Unity which was the first private company that launched a craft into space.
DeGregorio is suing for $200 million dollars for loss of future earnings and other real or anticipated damages resulting from his ordeal.
The lawsuit is the latest in legal woes for Lujan Grisham, whose 2018 election campaign settled a lawsuit filed by an ex-staffer who accused the governor of sexual harassment. The staffer accused her of pouring water on and grabbing his genital area.
The New Mexico state Supreme Court ruled against Lujan Grisham, and in favor of state lawmakers in November, finding that she did not have the authority to distribute more than $1 billion in COVID-19 relief funds.