Toney Anaya

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Toney Anaya
Toney Anaya 2008.jpg
26th Governor of New Mexico
In office
January 1, 1983 – January 1, 1987
Lieutenant Mike Runnels
Preceded by Bruce King
Succeeded by Garrey Carruthers
24th Attorney General of New Mexico
In office
Preceded by David L. Norvell
Succeeded by Jeff Bingaman
Personal details
Born (1941-04-29) April 29, 1941 (age 77)
Moriarty, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elaine Anaya
Alma mater Georgetown University
American University
Profession Lawyer

Toney Anaya (born April 29, 1941) is an American Democratic politician who served as the 26th Governor of New Mexico from 1983 to 1987.

Early life and career[edit]

Anaya was born on (1941-04-29)April 29, 1941 in Moriarty, New Mexico. He went to undergraduate school at Georgetown University and graduated with a law degree from American University's Washington College of Law in 1967. After returning to New Mexico, Governor Anaya worked as a Santa Fe County attorney, was an assistant district attorney for the First Judicial District, and later established a private law practice in Santa Fe.

Political career[edit]

Anaya with President Jimmy Carter in 1978

From 1975 to 1978, he served as New Mexico Attorney General under Governor Jerry Apodaca.

One example of his service as Attorney General was his investigation of the upward curve in the level of drugs in the Penitentiary of New Mexico after 1972. In 1975 Attorney General Anaya's investigation found some staff members at the Penitentiary not only overlooked drug trafficking but were actually involved in it. The trafficking of drugs involved both street drugs, such as heroin, and drugs pilfered from the prison's pharmacy. The 1975 Attorney General investigation reported very loose controls on pharmacy drugs:

"Inventory controls for hospital drugs are totally inadequate or non-existent....There is no way under the existing practices to protect against large scale pilfering of drugs."(Officer of the Attorney General 1975:3 and 22) [1]

Correctional Officer Supervisor: "Basically the way we controlled the institution was the drugs. Any time we had a problem with an inmate, we'd call the hospital and he was given drugs....We had Darvons that were given out by the tons, I mean we gave everybody Darvons....We controlled the whole inmate population under Felix Rodriguez [when he was warden February 1970 to September 1975] with drugs. And it worked!...We had a lot of zombies in that place."[2]

Attorney General Anaya's twenty-seven page report of September 20, 1975 not only had found the brisk traffic in heroin, cocaine, cash and liquor in the penitentiary, it reported that sides of beef had been regularly diverted from the prison kitchen loading docks into the pickup trucks of certain favored Correctional Officers.[3][4]

Attorney General Anaya expected his report to go to a Grand Jury to make indictments and Governor Apodaca said outright that Rodriguez would be fired. Rodriguez defended himself by announcing that the sides of beef being offered to officers were "nothing new" in the prison system and simply claimed that he had been trying to stem the flow of contraband. Even though a Governor's aide told the press that there was sufficient evidence to fire Rodriguez, Rodriguez reportedly told the governor he had "no knowledge of some of the things Herrera [his Deputy Warden] was doing."

On September 24, four days after the release of the report, Deputy Warden Harrera was fired but Rodriguez was exonerated by the Corrections Commission and hired by the Corrections Secretary to state director of adult institutions. Anaya's files on the penitentiary were neatly locked away. Prison officials similarly ignored some thirteen grand jury reports from 1971 to 1980 detailing major problems at the pen and calling for special audits and investigations. Like the incriminating Attorney General's report, the grand jury warnings were filed away.[5] Governor Apodaca could not believe the coercion between the Corrections Commission and other correction officials who excused Rodriguez for using drugs to manage the prisoners and distributing state property to his loyal officers while he was Warden.

Attorney General Anaya had engaged in two extremely important efforts to curb corruption and attempt to bring correction to the failing prison system. The first major effort was his nine month investigation of the New Mexico Penitentiary administration resulting in a 27 page report heavily documenting improper and unprofessional conduct during Rodriguez's wardenship in 1975.[6]

The second major effort was when he and Assistant Attorney General Michael Francke along with the inmates' attorney, signed a consent order in the New Mexico U.S. District Court compelling the penitentiary of New Mexico to improve classification practices, stop illegal disciplinary procedures, reduce overcrowding and significantly improve food (without mice droppings and cockroaches), water supply (so water does not come up in the sink when the toilet is flushed), plumbing, heating, ventilation and electrical wiring. Ordered by District Judge Edwin Felter, the decree when largely ignored and unenforced for more than three and a half years prior to the New Mexico State Penitentiary riot.[7]

In 1978, Anaya ran for United States Senate, but was defeated by incumbent Republican Pete Domenici. He served as the 26th Governor of New Mexico from 1983 to 1987.[8]

As Governor, he focused on energy alternatives, water development and conservation, the environment, education, economic development, and provided leadership in investing of the state’s multibillion-dollar trust funds. Known as a visionary, he successfully steered the state through a national recession, transforming New Mexico into a more technology-based economy and laid the groundwork for future deployment of rapid rail transit, education and social reform.[9] In 1986, after the election of his successor, Garrey Carruthers, Anaya commuted the death sentences of all five death row inmates in New Mexico. Anaya is a longtime opponent of capital punishment.[10] Anaya had campaigned against the death penalty and in later interviews expressed no regret for the commutations.[9] Anaya made headlines on March 28, 1986 for declaring New Mexico the nation's first "State of Sanctuary" for refugees from Central America.[11]

He served one term as Governor, from 1983 through 1987. At that time, the State Constitution did not allow executive officers to succeed themselves for consecutive terms. That changed when a 1986 Constitutional amendment allowed state executive officers to serve two consecutive four-year terms for terms beginning January 1, 1991.[12]


Since leaving office, he has served on numerous boards, commissions, and with non-profit organizations primarily focusing on Hispanic issues, education, and politics. He contributed significantly to the Democratic National Committee and the North American Free Trade Agreement.[citation needed]

In 2009, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson appointed Anaya to head the New Mexico Office of Recovery and Reinvestment. Anaya was responsible for overseeing the spending of the $1.8 billion in federal stimulus money expected to be invested in New Mexico during the next two years. Governor Anaya worked closely with state agencies to facilitate access to funding, assist with compliance, and promote transparency throughout the process.[13]

From August, 2009 to January, 2011, Anaya served as Chief Executive Officer of Natural Blue Resources, a Woburn, Massachusetts-based penny stock company specializing in investments in environmentally-friendly companies including a New Mexico-based initiative to sell purified water. In July, 2014, Anaya entered into a civil settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to charges that he secretly allowed two business partners who were legally disqualified from serving as officers or directors of a publicly traded company to assume management roles at Natural Blue Resources.[14] Under the terms of the settlement, Anaya agreed to a five-year ban from penny stock offerings and a cease-and-desist order without admitting or denying the charges.[15]


  1. ^ Mark Colvin (1992), Penitentiary in Crisis, p. 82-83 
  2. ^ Mark Colvin (1992), Penitentiary in Crisis, p. 229 
  3. ^ Roger Morris (1983), The Devil's Butcher Shop: the New Mexico prison uprising, p. 144, 157 
  4. ^ Mark Colvin (1992), Penitentiary in Crisis, p. 207 
  5. ^ Roger Morris (1983), The Devil's Butcher Shop: the New Mexico prison uprising, p. 158 
  6. ^ Roger Morris (1983), The Devil's Butcher Shop: the New Mexico prison uprising, p. 198 
  7. ^ Roger Morris (1983), The Devil's Butcher Shop: the New Mexico prison uprising, p. 159-160 
  8. ^ National Governors Association Biography
  9. ^ a b [1] Archived February 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Clemency | Death Penalty Information Center". Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  11. ^ Garza, Aimee V. "The Social Life of a Controversial Proclamation, 1980-1988". New Mexico History. New Mexico Office of the State Historian. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "New Mexico State Records Center and Archives - Quipu October 2003". Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  13. ^ Monahan, Joe (2009-03-12). "New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan". Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  14. ^ Former New Mexico Governor Pretended To Run Penny Stock For Ex-Con ( article-July 16, 2014)
  15. ^ Former New Mexico governor Anaya settles SEC fraud charges ( article-July 16, 2014)
Legal offices
Preceded by
David L. Norvell
Attorney General of New Mexico
Succeeded by
Jeff Bingaman
Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce King
Governor of New Mexico
Succeeded by
Garrey Carruthers