The federal probe into New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s alleged “quid pro quo” deal is now focusing on two of his former aides, including Michael Stratton, a well-regarded Denver-based political consultant, writes The Washington Post.

Stratton, who was Richardson’s senior political adviser, lobbied the state of New Mexico on behalf of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which reaped a “leading role” in municipal bonds deals, reports Bloomberg News. The situation, according to Bloomberg, “played a part” in Richardson’s decision to drop out of consideration for the job of Commerce Secretary in President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Stratton, who is president of Denver’s Stratton & Associates, has worked two decades for Democrats, including President Bill Clinton and former Colorado Governor Roy Romer. The New Mexico Independent gives a blow-by-blow as to why Stratton’s dealings are of concern.