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Prosecutor: Richardson not charged, not exonerated

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top federal prosecutor confirms that no charges will be brought against Gov. Bill Richardson and his former top aides after a probe of an alleged pay-to-play scheme. But the U.S. attorney says that doesn't exonerate the conduct of people involved.

U.S. Attorney Greg Fouratt made the comments in a letter sent to defense lawyers, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Fouratt said a federal investigation "revealed pressure from the governor's office resulted in the corruption of the procurement process" in awarding state bond deal work to a Richardson political contributor.

Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos issued a statement Friday saying Fouratt's letter was "nothing more than sour grapes."