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Morning Word: Archdiocese Sued for Sexual Abuse

December 27, 2016, 12:00 am
Church Sued for Sexual Abuse Again
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe faces two new sexual abuse lawsuits. “A priest who surfaced in Morocco this year is the focus of a lawsuit filed last week by a New Mexico man who alleges that he was sexually abused as a teenager by Arthur Perrault at the University of Albuquerque campus,” Oliver Uyttebrouck reports. “Another lawsuit filed against the archdiocese last week alleges that a former Las Vegas priest sexually abused seven San Miguel County residents when they were children in the late 1950s and early 1960s.”
Perrault vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992 at the onset of the clerical abuse scandal that has led to an estimated 340 lawsuits against the archdiocese, nearly all of which have been settled under confidential terms.

Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall served Perrault in April with papers in an unrelated lawsuit at an English-language school in Tangier, Morocco, where Perrault worked at the time.
Candidates Lining Up for 2018 Governor’s Race
KOB’s Caleb James looks ahead at potential 2018 gubernatorial candidates now that Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced her bid.

Lujan Grisham Named Senior Whip
Lujan Grisham is having a pretty good winter. Last week, she was named Senior Whip by Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland. As senior whip, Lujan Grisham with help develop strategy on votes. Lujan Grisham is also the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  

Senator Proposes Eliminating Education Post
Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, wants voters in New Mexico to abolish the job of the state's education secretary and return to an elected state board of education to oversee public schools. Before that happens, lawmakers will have to approve allowing voters to consider amending the state's Constitution.

Wirth Wants Stricter Campaign Finance Reporting Laws
Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, thinks 2017 may be the right time to reform campaign finance laws. Andrew Oxford reports the new Senate majority leader will propose stricter fundraising and campaign spending reports and restrict so-called super PACs, or political action committees, from coordinating with candidates. Wirth’s measure would also give prosecutors more power to go after campaign finance law violators.

Welfare Program Criticized
New Mexico Voices for Children issued a report showing the state’s welfare program isn’t doing a good job of helping families out of poverty through education and job training. The nonprofit advocacy group recommends an increase in education program investments, and that it should figure out a way to ensure that parents in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program have access to child care assistance and preschool.

Wind Energy Capacity Grows
If developers are successful, wind-generated energy capacity will double in New Mexico over the next few years. Kevin Robinson-Avila reports:
Generous federal subsidies and major improvements in wind technology have combined to make wind-generated electricity a low-cost option today for utilities and corporations seeking renewable energy. That’s generating a surge in wind projects, here and in other states.

More than a gigawatt of wind capacity is now under construction or planned in New Mexico, said Jeremy Lewis, bureau chief for the energy, conservation and management division at the state Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department.
New Mexico Earthquake Causes No Damage
While we were also rushing to get ready for the holiday weekend last Friday, the US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.5 earthquake in a remote area just south of the New Mexico-Colorado border last Friday. There were no reports of damage from the quake, which occurred around 12:30 pm Friday. The epicenter was about 17 miles northwest of Cimarron and about 90 miles northeast of Santa Fe. 

Top 10 News Stories
Ahead of the new year, New Mexico Political Report is taking a look at the state’s Top 10 stories of 2016. See what’s on the list so far. 

 

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