Jason “Jay” McCleskey:
Jay McCleskey, the most influential person in Martinez’s shadow government is presently embroiled in two scandals. McCleskey wields an almost Svengali- or Rasputin-like influence over the governor. He is at the center of both the Dirty Downs deal, a massive state contract manipulated from the outset to reward large financial contributions to Martinez and her political action committee run by McCleskey, and the possible misuse of Public Education Department employees and equipment for private political purpose.
This comes as no surprise.
McCleskey’s history includes lying to the police in an attempt to avoid responsibility for his conduct, ruthlessly attacking a woman much younger and smaller than he, and using his moneyed power and influence to abuse those without money or influence.
And Martinez has paid him well over $100,000 to run her Political Action Committee. She has called McCleskey her “top advisor”.
McCleskey also launched an attack campaign against Charlotte Rode, the Republican appointed to the State Fair Commission by Martinez, who opposed the corrupt actions of the administration in awarding the racino lease to the Downs.
His history shows that retaliation against those who stand up to him is standard practice.
McCleskey was charged with Battery in Metro Court (Case CR 1237998). The victim of the battery was a female, four years his junior, who McCleskey outweighed by 35 pounds.
According to the criminal complaint by APD officer Lopez, McCleskey during an argument with his girlfriend’s roommate, “the argument became heated and McCleskey pushed Mitchell into a wall Mitchell fell onto a partially disassembled bed. As Mitchell attempted to get up McCleskey pushed her to the ground several more times. Witness Tim Volzer (a close personal friend of McCleskey’s) pulled McCleskey away as McCleskey made a gester (sic) as if to hit Mitchell. Mitchell suffered bruises to her left arm and right abdominal area.”
McCleskey was lucky not to be charged with other crimes beyond battery.
The incident was triggered by the fact that Mitchell told McCleskey’s girlfriend that she did not want McCleskey at the apartment anymore. Mitchell was on the lease and paid rent, McCleskey did not.
The victim submitted a handwritten report to officer Lopez, which was contained in the report (APD Report 98-110202). Regarding McCleskey, the victim wrote, “he threatened me via the internet, then came over to my apartment at approximately 9:40 pm tonight. He proceeded to tell me to get out of my apartment. I told him to leave. He threw me against the wall, onto my bed. I tried to get up and he kept throwing me down. His friend finally pulled him off of me and he left.”
Officer Lopez went to McCleskey’s nearby home. McCleskey, “did smell of alcoholic beverage and his speech was slurred. McCleskey said he was on his computer at home from 8pm until we contacted him and was not at Mitchell’s apartment this date.”
McCleskey’s own girlfriend told officer Lopez that McCleskey had been at the apartment that night, thereby catching McCleskey in a lie to the police.
McCleskey was summonsed to court. The case was eventually dismissed. The documents do not show the reason for the dismissal.
The following year McCleskey was arrested twice and charged in Metro Court both times.
McCleskey, then 24-years-old, was arrested in March 1999 for DWI, Speeding, No Registration, and No Insurance. (Metro Court Case DW 15899).
According to the companion police report (APD Report 99-57660), McCleskey was pulled over for speeding (to this day a very regular occurrence). McCleskey’s speech was “slurred” and he admitted to drinking “3 mixed drinks”. McCleskey was also unable to maintain his balance during testing or to follow the officer’s instructions.
About one-hour after the traffic stop, McCleskey blew a .15 on the blood alcohol test. .15 is just shy of twice the legal limit of .08. McCleskey then refused the second test so it was discontinued without a second reading.
To his credit, McCleskey pled guilty a few days later. However, just two weeks later, McCleskey was arrested and charged in Metro Court, with criminal damage to property/ leaving the scene of an accident. (Case number CR429799).
According to the criminal case docket, McCleskey crashed into property approximately two doors down from his own house. He was then arrested at his house.
It should be noted that leaving the scene of an accident often involves intoxicated drivers and this case came just two weeks after his arrest for DWI.
McCleskey pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.
While this information is somewhat older, McCleskey continued in behavior that is arguably abusive towards another woman.
At the age of 26, McCleskey met a 17-year-old high school student through the Internet. She became pregnant a year later, and to his credit, McCleskey accepted responsibility and regularly paid his child support. The following information addresses only McCleskey’s treatment of the child’s mother. It does not address in any manner McCleskey’s parenting of his daughter.
A few years later, the young woman sought to move with the child to Florida. That led to extensive litigation that clearly shows a pattern of bullying by McCleskey.
According to the child’s mother, she and McCleskey had several discussions about her desire to move to Florida with their child. McCleskey disputed her statement and sought through a specific individual at the District Attorney’s office to have the woman arrested and charged after she moved to Florida with the child.
McCleskey hired GOP lawyer Mickey Barnett (at a highly discounted rate) and also received some legal guidance from GOP lawyer Pat Rogers. McCleskey then filed suit to force the woman to return to New Mexico. (Bernalillo County District Court Case DM-2004-0211).
At that time, McCleskey was earning almost 9.5 times what the child’s mother earned. Yet, McCleskey sought to force the child’s mother to pay equal amounts of the fees for experts.
His child’s mother’s attorney, in a motion for attorneys fees, wrote that her client, “is being financially bullied by opposing party who has greater resources to defeat” her, by “simply running up the legal and professional fees.”
McCleskey, while seeking extensive financial records from the child’s mother, which she produced, filed a motion for protective order in an effort to avoid producing his own financial records.
The child’s mother’s attorney, in the response to petitioner’s motion for protective order, wrote that McCleskey’s refusal to produce his financial records was “one more example of legal and financial bullying by Jason McCleskey.”
McCleskey’s actions continued even after the case was settled. His attorneys issued a subpoena to the child’s mother after the case was resolved. The child’s mother attorney petitioned the court for an order of protection to quash the subpoena. The attorney wrote, “this case was settled by order entered January 6, 2005. A request for discovery one day after entry of the order is harassment and a financial hardship.”
The attorney requested the order of protection because of the “constant harassment” of the child’s mother by McCleskey.
The attorney further wrote that McCleskey’s efforts to subpoena information after the case had settled was done “as a means of using the Court for mental and financial bullying by Jay McCleskey.”
The attorney requested of the court that “Jay McCleskey be sanctioned for trying to continue needless litigation, for running up needless costs and for using the court system in a vendetta.” The attorney also requested, “sanctioning Jay McCleskey for bad faith negotiations and entry into a final order which he did not intend to abide.”
You would think Martinez as a former prosecutor would oppose rather than reward someone so disrespectful of women, the legal system, and the truth.
(See the documents on McCleskey here).
Editor's correction: We incorrectly reported that the mother of Jay McCleskey child became pregnant just shy of her 18th birthday. We have been notified that she was 18 and we have made that correction. However, the information as reported that significantly older McCleskey met her online when she was a 17-year-old has not been disputed.