Gregor charged with molestation, rape in Santa Fe

Employing former teacher Gary Gregor has already cost Española schools more than $7 million in civil lawsuit settlements. He's criminally accused of molesting elementary school girls there in 2007 and 2008. Now, he's been indicted for raping and molesting two girls during his time teaching in Santa Fe at Agua Fria Elementary in 2003 and 2004. The district let him resign and gave him a neutral recommendation and despite a reprimand from the Public Education Department in 2005, Gregor was free to teach in the state.

Santa Fe appeals ranked-choice voting to Supreme Court

Almost 10 years after city voters approved a new system for voting in municipal elections, city attorneys are arguing to the Supreme Court that it's unconstitutional ($). The city of Santa Fe filed its appeal yesterday of a state District Court decision that ordered the city to implement the use of ranked-choice voting. While the City Council and city clerk start to construct the system for the March 2018 election, attorneys are trying to get the Supreme Court to give them more time—likely until 2020.

City backs off inspector general idea

Fresh off a scathing outside review of internal financial safeguards—in which reviewers found that safeguards were virtually non-existent—Santa Fe city councilors said it's too early to ask voters ($) to determine whether the city needs an inspector general. Councilor Joe Maestas revived his 2015 proposal after the review was made public. But the council said it's still in the process of sorting out what went wrong and fixing those problems.

AG thinks LEA needs MMA

Got that? Good. And while we're on the subject of the attorney general recommending mixed martial arts training for the law enforcement academy, SFR was there as world-famous coach Greg Jackson told the LEA board, which controls officer certification statewide as well as the curriculum for cadets at the academy, that MMA-based training could keep the public and officers safer during arrests. But Jackson said the techniques should be secret and not subject to public review. Jackson has been working with Albuquerque police since 1995. That department is under court supervision for unconstitutional policing practices, though Jackson and/or his training weren't a focus of the US Department of Justice review.

Changes for SFPD

Santa Fe police will have two new interim chiefs next week, as Patrick Gallagher moves to warmer climes down in Las Cruces. This week, SFR looked at the state of the department, which will have new leadership next year under a new mayor and a new City Council. Even among the top two men at the department, there's disagreement over officer morale (the union says it's low) and the record-keeping system is something of a mess. But there's support even outside the city for the work being done by police.

New dark-money group touts Martinez’ record 

Ahead of her final regular legislative session and well ahead of any announced future political plans, a conservative dark-money group is spending on radio ads and mailers boosting the record of Gov. Susana Martinez. The group's officers include politico and University of New Mexico Regent Rob Doughty, as well as Amy Orlando, a former district attorney in Doña Ana County. Jay McCleskey, the political strategist behind Martinez' rise, is also involved.

Aztec plans to rededicate shooting scene

The superintendent of Aztec Municipal Schools says the high school will repurpose and rededicate parts of the school that were damaged in the shooting attack that killed two students. The school is closed right now, but will reopen next week. The community is trying to raise money to fund the work.

Officially bad

This is the worst start to a snow season since the last millennium. So says the National Weather Service, which points out that statewide snowpack is 5 percent of the median level. There's a 20 percent chance of snow today in Santa Fe, and it'll be a bit cooler before warming again across the state tomorrow.

Thanks for reading! The Word is twiddling its thumbs and sipping coffee this ski season.

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