Richardson Withdraws as Obama Commerce Secretary Pick (Update1) Email | Print | A A A By Bill Schmick Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, President-elect Barack Obamaâs pick to serve as U.S. secretary of Commerce, withdrew from consideration for the post today, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state. Obama accepted Richardsonâs decision with âdeep regret,â according to a statement released by his transition team. Richardson, in a statement also released by Obamaâs team, gave no details on the probe except to say that it âpromises to extend for several weeks or, perhaps, even monthsâ and âwould have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.â He said he and his administration had âacted properly in all matters,â and the investigation would âbear out that fact.â He said he would continue in his role as governor. A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Richardsonâs political action committees. The grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 after donating $100,000 to Richardsonâs efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, according to people familiar with the matter. To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Schmick at firstname.lastname@example.org.