Former officer receives special DWI handling

From - KOB Eyewitness News 4 is asking why a DWI defendant who is a former Town of Bernalillo officer appears to get one special treatment after another. Albuquerque Police arrested Berto Chavez in April 2011 charging him with DWI.  According to police reports, Chavez refused a breathalyzer test and even pleaded with Albuquerque Police officers to “help him out” fearing his career as a cop would be over. Despite these statements, Chavez never spent a night in jail.  Chavez’s supervisor intervened stating that Chavez’s position as an undercover officer posed a threat to him if in jail, even though a jail director later told media outlets that his staff ensures the safety of all inmates regardless of their position in the community. KOB questions why Chavez never spent time in jail as most charged with DWI do. Just as Chavez’s trial on this matter was about to begin in Metro Court, Clear protested news cameras in the courtroom.  Wednesday, a judge held a motion hearing to determine whether or not media could be present during Chavez’s upcoming trial. Clear argued because his client worked undercover, his safety could be at risk, however Chavez has been de-certified as a police officer for nine months. The judge Wednesday agreed to allow one camera in trial with an agreement that media outlets do not show Chavez’s face to our viewers. KOB questions how many other DWI defendants would get an exemption that limits transparency. Once the court proceedings finished Wednesday, Chavez refused to leave the court knowing KOB cameras were in the hall waiting for him. Metro Court security officers locked out a KOB reporter and photojournalist, then escorted Chavez through back doors to evade news cameras.  KOB questions if all DWI defendants in Metro Court are entitled to personal escorts to avoid news crews. Read more


Martinez: Voters should weigh in on legislative pensions

From - Gov. Susana Martinez supports a proposed constitutional amendment that would let voters decide whether state lawmakers should continue receiving retirement benefits, the Albuquerque Journal is reporting. From the article: “Gov. Susana Martinez supports a constitutional amendment – which would have to be approved by voters – to kill the retirement program. “‘Given the generosity of these legislative pensions, and the significant expansion of these benefits throughout the years, I believe that voters should have the chance to weigh in on this important issue and evaluate the appropriateness of these pension benefits,’ Martinez said last week. Read more


Lab Cuts Expected To Cost Northern NM $30 Million

From -Budget cuts at the nation's premier nuclear facility are expected to cost northern New Mexico businesses more than $30 million in lost contacts. Los Alamos National Laboratory Executive Director Richard Marquez told an audience this week at the Cities of Gold Hotel and Casino that's how much in loses the area should expect. Lab officials last month announced plans to reduce their permanent full-time workforce by between 400 and 800 employees this spring, or as much as 11 percent.  Under the program, the lab says about 7,600 workers are eligible for a buyout. In addition to those highly publicized voluntary buyouts, the lab is also looking to cut $150 million in goods and services because of decreased revenue.

Drug Cartel Leader Indicted On Crimes in NM

From -An alleged lieutenant of the Sinaloa cartel has been indicted in the U.S. for conspiracy in the kidnappings and deaths of a West Texas man and three New Mexico men. Jose Antonio Torres-Marrufo, who allegedly ran the cartel's operation in Juarez, Mexico, was also indicted on drug trafficking and money laundering counts. Torres-Marrufo was arrested in February in Leon, Guatnajuato, Mexico, and awaits extradition. Attorney information was not immediately available. The indictment unsealed last week accuses Torres-Marrufo of conspiring to kill a man in 2009 with the initials S.S. That coincides with Sergio Saucedo, abducted from his home and killed in Mexico.  More News New Mexico

Court Gives Governor More Power Over Labor Board

Gov. Martinez
From -Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has won a legal battle that gives her control of a state board that referees disputes over working conditions and union contracts affecting government workers and some educators. A state labor leader said Tuesday a pair of court rulings may allow the governor to try to neutralize New Mexico's collective bargaining law through her selection of Public Employee Labor Relations Board members. "It's a win for her right now, but hopefully it won't be a big win. We'll just have to figure out other options to prevent her from doing away with collective bargaining," said Christine Trujillo, president of the American Federation of Teachers in New Mexico. Trujillo said unions don't plan to appeal the latest court ruling over the governor's power to select board members.  More News New Mexico

Nine Arrests: Enough Arrested in Sunland Park Voter Fraud and Extortion Scheme to Field a Baseball Team

NMPolitics - Police have issued an arrest warrant for a former journalist they allege filmed the video of Sunland Park mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez getting a lap dance and carried out the extortion threat to try to get Hernandez to quit the race.
Jose Margarito Ramirez Reyes, who court records state more commonly goes by Jose “Pepe” Reyes, faces fourth-degree felony charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. His bond has been set at $50,000 cash-only, but he has not been arrested.
The former freelance reporter and investigative journalist for El Diario newspaper in El Paso is the second former journalist charged in the case. Martah Alondra Lozano, who once worked as a news editor for the El Paso Univision affiliate KINT-TV, faces charges of tampering with evidence and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Cut Expenses or Raise Tuition?

KOB TV - Budget shortfalls may force New Mexico State University-Alamogordo to increase tuition and student fees. Debra Teachman, vice president for academic affairs, told the Alamogordo Daily News on Tuesday that tuition will likely increase by at least 4 percent and an online course fee may increase from $4 per credit hour to $10 per credit hour. She said the increases are a result of the school receiving less money from the state.
Tony Salinas, vice president of business and finance at NMSU-A, said the school once received about 72 percent of its funding from the state, but that is down to about 59 percent. He said it costs about $20 million per year to operate the campus. Read full story here: News New Mexico

"Toxic" Says Resigning Goldman Executive

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A Goldman Sachs executive has resigned in a very public manner -- calling the firm "toxic" and disrespectful of its clients in a scathing op-ed piece published in Wednesday's New York Times.
"I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it," wrote Greg Smith on his "last day at Goldman Sachs," capping 12 years with Wall Street's gilded firm.Smith's main gripe is that the firm cares more about making money from its clients than making it for them.
"It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off," he wrote.
"Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets,' sometimes over internal e-mail." Read full story here: News New Mexico

Pearce Job Fairs an Ongoing Hit

Steve Pearce
Yesterday, Congressman Steve Pearce co-hosted a veterans job fair in Alamogordo with New Mexico Workforce Connection and the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. Approximately forty employers were present, and hundreds of prospective employees attended throughout the day.
“It was exciting to be a part of bringing together employers and job seekers today” said Pearce. “Jobs and job growth have been my top priority in Congress, and today’s event was one more way to find jobs for people in New Mexico. Everywhere I go, I hear from people who tell me they need jobs. Today’s event was a great success, and I look forward to more like it in the future, in other regions of southern New Mexico.”
Congressman Pearce opened the job fair with a short presentation on the importance of jobs, and by cutting a ribbon to mark the opening of the job fair. He then spent much of the morning visiting with attendees and personally helping employers connect with job-seekers. In addition to the large number of employers present, job-seekers had opportunities to learn about résumé writing and job interview skills.
The next job fairs, hosted by Congressman Steve Pearce will be on Thursday, May 3rd in Los Lunas and Friday, May 4th in Las Cruces.


Vermont: O'Keefe an Exposure Artist

James O'Keefe
Breitbart - The video, a sequel to O'Keefe's "Primary of the Living Dead" in New Hampshire, shows a Veritas agent entering various voting places around the state of Vermont, giving a different name each time. Each time, he is given a ballot without showing an ID, to his disbelief.
In the video, the agent repeatedly requests (but does not take) a Republican primary ballot. As he explained to "We wanted to remind viewers this is not a partisan issue. This is a situation wherein anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- can exploit the system."
The new video follows in the wake of a highly-politicized media attack on Mr. O’Keefe after his exposure of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Those videos resulted in calls from the left for O’Keefe’s arrest. However, the videos soon resulted in the New Hampshire State Senate passing a new bill requiring voter ID.
O'Keefe's new video from Vermont could not be more timely, coming the day after the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division blocked a Texas photo ID requirement for voters--to the applause of the American Civil Liberties Union, which claimed that the law was “discriminatory” against “Latinos, African-Americans, elderly citizens, and others.”
As the Project Veritas video shows, the current system in Vermont discriminates against actual legal voters, who must face the prospect of disenfranchisement by those who would vote in their stead illegally, or have their votes cancelled out by those voting illegally in place of deceased voters who have yet to be removed from the rolls. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Voter Fraud, Extortion Arrest Count: 8

NMPolitics - Two more Sunland Park city officials were arrested and charged Monday in the alleged extortion plot aimed at getting an opponent of Daniel Salinas to drop out of last week’s election.
In addition, the criminal complaints against former Sunland Park City Councilor Angelica Marquez and city spokesman Arturo Alba paint the most comprehensive picture yet of a wide-ranging extortion plot investigators allege involved several city officials. Those officials allegedly attempted to get Gerardo Hernandez to drop out of the race by making a video of him getting a lap-dance and threatening to release it publicly.
Hernandez lost last week’s race to Salinas but he plans to appeal, saying extortion and voter fraud tainted the election. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Huge Drug Seizure in Gallup

Gallup – More than two million dollars worth of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and hashish were seized at the Gallup port of entry by the Motor Transportation Police.
On the evening of March 11th, a truck driven by an Illinois man en-route from California to Kentucky was selected randomly for a safety inspection at the Gallup port of entry. During the safety inspection, inspectors and officers discovered 428 pounds of marijuana, 170 pounds of cocaine, 8 pounds of heroin, 1.1 pounds of hashish and 2 bottles of hash oil hidden in both the trailer and tractor.
The driver and illicit cargo were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.


Governor Leads Drunk Driving Fight

Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez today launched the St. Patrick’s Holiday Mini Superblitz, a statewide collaborative enforcement effort targeting drunk drivers in New Mexico. The Governor was joined by Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez, Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden, Sen. Lynda Lovejoy (D-Crownpoint), Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and other law enforcement officials involved in combating DWI.
The St. Patrick’s Holiday Superblitz begins March 14th and will run daily through March 19th, 2012. The Superblitz includes an increase in law enforcement efforts statewide and features an ad campaign showing the impact of alcohol and the dangerous consequences of driving while impaired.
For the second year in a row, the legislature failed to act on proposed bills that would have cracked down on repeat DWI offenders, helping to take dangerous drivers off the roads and dangerous weapons out of their hands. Before the recent legislative session, Governor Martinez announced bi-partisan support for measures that would have increased penalties for repeat offenders, seized vehicles from individuals after a second DWI offense, and made felony DWI count when courts sentence a habitual offender. The bill died in the legislature.



Four Firefighters Awarded Medal of Valor

KOB TV - The Albuquerque Fire Department honored four members who went into a chaotic situation to save the lives of people from a fight that broke out January 1 in Downtown Albuquerque.
It was a wild start to 2012. Fights broke out in the middle of the street as the bars closed early New Year's morning. One man was shot on Central Avenue and when the Albuquerque Fire Department Engine 2 arrived on scene, it went from wild to worse. AFD firefighter 2nd Class Brett Rohrig was one of the first responders to arrive.
"Approaching the scene and the first cluster of fire. Pow-pow-pow went off," Rohrig explained.
AFD Lt. Matthew Sanchez was in charge of Engine 2. "It was total chaos, one of those things anybody in the fire department…instead of running away, they would all react."
Instead of moving away, they went toward the gunfire. That is when a second round of shots rang out. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Thornburg Executives Charged With Fraud

KOB TV - Federal regulators have charged three executives of what was once the nation's second-largest mortgage company with civil accounting fraud.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says the now-defunct Thornburg Mortgage Inc., which was based in Santa Fe, N.M, aimed to conceal disastrous conditions as the housing market collapsed and the financial crisis loomed.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., the SEC says the three executives conspired to overstate Thornburg's income by more than $400 million in 2007. It says Thornburg was facing a "severe liquidity crisis" in early 2008 and its lenders were demanding payments the company wasn't able to meet. Read full story here: News New Mexico