Convicted Sex Offender Worked for Sen. Ivey-Soto and Runs Sex Offender Rights Group Out of Ivey-Soto’s Law Office
Albuquerque, NM – At his law firm, Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto employed Larry Neely, a convicted sex offender who also runs the “Liberty and Justice Coalition,” a sex offender rights lobbying organization, out of Ivey-Soto’s office.
In 2005, Neely was convicted in Arkansas and received five years probation for five counts of Harassing Communications and two counts of Sexual Indecency with a child. Neely had made a series of phone calls from his home in Albuquerque to various members of the Lonoke High School Football Team in Lonoke, Arkansas to solicit sex. In 2006, he was arrested at Ivey-Soto’s law firm for failing to register as a sex offender.
Business records show that Neely’s sex offender rights lobbying group, the “Liberty and Justice Coalition,” shares an address with Sen. Ivey-Soto’s law firm, 1420 Carlisle Blvd NE, in Albuquerque. Two schools, Montezuma Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School, are within a mile of this office.
“While Neely was serving probation as a sex offender, Ivey-Soto determined he was suitable to hire for his law firm, and still lets this man lobby for the interests of child predators nationwide out of his law office,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Spokesman Tucker Keene. “Ivey-Soto should be fighting for the interests of children, yet he instead lets predators lobby against children’s interests from his law office. He even offered to post bond to ensure Neely was back on the streets.”
The Liberty and Justice Coalition lobbies against legislation that protects children from child predators and fights against stronger penalties for child abuse. Neely has also testified against such bills before the New Mexico legislature on several occasions. Neely has vigorously opposed HB 65, increasing penalties for possession of child porn. Ivey-Soto only supported this bill once his Public Affairs Committee weakened it significantly, and then refused to vote to strengthen it on the floor. Eight other bills opposed by The Liberty and Justice Coalition died in Ivey-Soto’s Public Affairs Committee.
“By letting Neely run his sex offender rights group out of his law office, Ivey-Soto is directly supporting that group’s reprehensible efforts,” said Keene. “This is completely unacceptable and Ivey-Soto is unfit to represent the families and children of SD-15 and New Mexico. Ivey-Soto cannot claim to care about the safety of children.”