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Morning Word: What Would You Ask Comey?

June 9, 2017, 7:30 am

Front row seat
Better than that, actually. Senator Martin Heinrich's posting to the Senate Intelligence Committee gave him the chance to ask questions of fired FBI director James Comey, who told senators he "assumed there would be others" at a private dinner with President Trump. Comey repeatedly said he didn't trust the president to tell the truth about the one-on-one meetings. Overnight, the president tweeted that the hearing gave him "total vindication."

Governor lifts hiring freeze
The ban on hiring new state employees is off. It's been in place since late March as the governor and lawmakers grappled with each other and with revenue projections that kept the state's cash reserves well below desired levels. It now looks like the state will end the year in positive territory, so Gov. Susana Martinez has lifted the freeze. Roughly 20 percent of state jobs on the books are unfilled.

Governor hires new communications director
That worked out nicely. Chris Sanchez has quit his job managing media inquiries and various and sundry public appearances for Gov. Martinez. Sanchez, Martinez' third communications director by SFR's count, is moving out of state. Former TV and radio reporter Larry Behrens, a longtime Martinez administration communications staffer, will take over the job.

Misfortune 500
The Fortune 500 list is out, and once again there are no New Mexico companies on it. The state hasn't made the list for more than 30 consecutive years, according to a New Mexico State University professor. Typically, such high-earning companies offer good jobs at their headquarters and executives invest in their communities.

District attorney faces criminal charges
To say charges for reckless driving have been a long time coming for Sixth Judicial District Attorney Francesca Estevez would be an understatement. A concerned motorist shot video of her swerving all over a two-lane highway in her government car last June. When Silver City police and New Mexico State Police caught up to her still behind the wheel, parked with a flat tire, they let her go—even as she missed the seat while trying to sit back down and also appeared to be practicing a field sobriety test. The attorney general filed charges yesterday for reckless driving, misusing a government vehicle and violating state ethics law.

Cop secret
As always, weekends are a good time to belly up to an SFR cover story. Jeff Proctor and Aaron Cantú examine why Santa Feans can't see the outcome of complaints filed with the city's police department. Across the state, police departments interpret the rules for disclosure differently—and the attorney general's office so far says whatever they decide is legal.

Tower permit denied, but...
The 80-foot tower is already there. Santa Fe's planning board has denied a permit request from a local internet service provider. The telecommunications tower is already up and running in the neighborhood next to Salazar Elementary. The tower's owner says the city's been sending mixed signals and the matter is already in court.
Warm weekend
It should be a nice one—maybe a tad breezy—but get out and enjoy it if you're able!

Thanks for reading! The Word is pretty sure falling asleep on your back patio counts as outdoor activity. Clearly you're outside and sleeping is technically doing something. Sounds awesome.

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