Ex-Reporter Sues Alb. Police Department

A former reporter is suing the city of Albuquerque, N. M., and a police officer for allegedly deleting evidence of police brutality and tampering with evidence during a story she was covering. Cristina Rodda, a former anchor and reporter for the Albuquerque NBC affiliate station KOB, is suing Officer Stephanie Lopez of the Albuquerque Police Department. In her federal court filing this week she cited violation of the first, fourth and fourteenth amendments, intentionally spoiling evidence, violation of the New Mexico Tort Claims Act against Lopez. She also cited negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention against the city. "We just filed this week so the city will have 20 days to answer the lawsuit," B.J. Crow, Cristina's attorney told ABC News.com.  the station the clip of the patron being thrown to the ground was gone.  More here

Supreme Court Ruled Dianne Hamilton to Stay on Ballot

From ballot-access.org -On April 13, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled 3-1 that State Representative Dianne Hamilton (R-Silver City) should remain on the June 5 Republican primary ballot, as a candidate for re-election. The Court did not explain its reasoning. The case is Fortenberry v Hamilton, no. 33,563.  More here

Equal Justice Under the Law?

Judges always follow the letter of the law, right? Well, not really. New Mexico has seen a virtual epidemic of petition and candidacy filing form snafus over the last few weeks. It didn’t take long for the State Supreme Court to wade into the mess involving somewhat deficient filing petitions and candidate forms of both Republicans and Democrats. In the end, the high court looked at the nuances of various filing deficiencies and refused to give the death penalty to otherwise legitimate candidates and take choices away from the voters.
There was one curious exception to this “let the voters decide” attitude. It occurred not in the Supreme Court, but in an Albuquerque District court.
Johnny Luevano
Johnny Luevano, a 20 year Marine Corps veteran who has been stationed in multiple locations during his active duty career while calling New Mexico home, was summarily tossed off the ballot by District Judge Alan Malott. The death penalty ruling for Luevano's candidacy illustrates just how little regard some of those drawing their paychecks from our legal system in New Mexico have for people serving in the military.
Luevano came off active duty less than four months ago. Knowing his active duty stint would end last December 31st he began construction of his permanent residence in June of 2011. The permanent Luevano residence was actually ready to move into earlier this year. But alas, the bureaucrats at the City of Albuquerque did not get around to issuing him a final “occupancy permit” until a few days after the candidate filing deadline. Little did incumbent Moe Maestas know how much thanks he would owe to the snail’s pace of those slaving away in the permit issuing department. Thanks to the bureaucracy, one way or the other, Luevano was going to be out of district. He would either out of district for a few days, or he would be permanently out of district before the November election was even held.
Native active duty military personnel have the right to vote in New Mexico elections while stationed anywhere. Apparently when their active duty careers end and they try to put down permanent roots in their home state (and run for office), Judge Malott has decided a very strict application of the letters of the election laws apply.
Amazingly, at the Supreme Court just a couple of days later all the other New Mexico candidates who had legal deficiencies in their filing paperwork this year were cut some slack so voters would have choices. However, in the Luevano case, the key to the Judge Malott's ruling was determined to be the speed with which bureaucrats in the City of Albuquerque were willing to get their permit issuing work done.
Luevano has yet to decide if he will appeal this atrocious decision to the Supreme Court. Let's hope he does. It would be very interesting indeed to see if the Supremes can reconcile giving slack to every candidate who made mistakes on their own, but not to a returning veteran who was at the mercy of a slow motion occupancy permitting process.