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New Mexico State Auditor Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson

On December 1, 2017, Wayne Johnson was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez as the New Mexico State Auditor.  Johnson’s background as a small business owner and his legislative accomplishments on the Bernalillo County Commission were cited by Martinez as reasons for his appointment.

Wayne Johnson was elected Bernalillo County Commissioner for District 5 in 2010, and was reelected in 2014.  As commissioner, Johnson has championed transparency, ethics, and accountability and pushed for meaningful change in county government.

Johnson brings that dedication to openness and transparency to the Office of the State Auditor. He firmly believes that the State Auditor has the duty and obligation to make sure that the public’s money is being spent wisely, lawfully, and in full view of the public.

Johnson believes that easy access to the information and records generated by government institutions is essential to public accountability. Because of this tenet, the first legislation he sponsored as a commissioner focused on creating a more open and transparent government at Bernalillo County. In early 2011, just weeks after taking office, the county’s first Openness and Transparency Resolution was passed and furthermore, was enacted as an ordinance in 2012. The legislation mandated the creation of the county’s website transparency portal—BerncoView—which makes the county’s spending, budgets, contracts, meeting agendas, employee names, salaries, and more, readily available to the public.

Johnson believes the public’s funds should be protected. In 2012 as a county commissioner, Johnson brought his concerns regarding the high percentage of long-term investments being made by Bernalillo County Treasurer to the attention of the County Manager. Despite repeated attempts to encourage the treasurer to purchase shorter term investments, Johnson’s concerns became a reality in 2013 when it became clear that the value of the portfolio was at substantial risk because of rising interest rates. In an effort to minimize losses and protect future tax dollars, the County Commission created an Investment Committee. The committee was charged with drafting a new investment policy for the county, and directed management to procure an investment advisor to determine a sound exit strategy for the portfolio.

Johnson has a strong commitment to ethical government. As a commissioner, he took the lead in creating a new Code of Conduct for Bernalillo County elected officials and employees that replaced the prior expensive and ineffective Code of Ethics. The new, streamlined code more closely mirrors state law, requires sworn, rather than anonymous complaints and created a new Compliance Office in the County Attorney’s office to investigate the complaints.

Auditor Johnson was born and raised in Albuquerque.  He is a graduate of Sandia High School and the University of New Mexico with a degree in University Studies with an emphasis in Computer Engineering and Film/Television. Johnson is the owner and president of the family-owned business, Vista Media Productions, which was started in 1975. He is married to Albuquerque native Kurstin Schneider Johnson, who owns Vista Encantada Real Estate.