Suit slams State Police chief
A former deputy chief, former lieutenant and current New Mexico State Police sergeant have filed a lawsuit charging the head of the agency, Pete Kassetas, with misconduct. The suit alleges a litany of misdeeds ($), including mooning a Roswell commanders meeting while in a police car, sending pictures of a man's testicles blocking out the sun during a solar eclipse to a woman at the department, and calling female staff members bitches. The suit also claims the state of New Mexico has paid nearly $700,000 to settle sexual harassment claims by three women who were aboard Gov. Susana Martinez' tour bus during her 2014 reelection campaign. Kassetas didn't comment; the governor's spokesman, Ben Cloutier, called the sexual misconduct allegations a "wild-eyed conspiracy theory."
There's no stopping the summer conference of the National Association of Governors, which will be held July 19-21 in Santa Fe. The deal's done. Mayor Alan Webber and the city's tourism director say it will be a showcase for Santa Fe with both the governors and with the conference's corporate hangers-on. It's not free, though. The city is likely to incur $144,000 in police and fire expenses as well as forgo about $70,000 in fees for use of the convention center and parking facilities. That, plus a healthy dose of security-fueled secrecy have given the City Council a bit of heartburn.
The Republican candidate for secretary of state has dropped out of the race. JoHanna Cox cited family reasons, though she's had a rough time fundraising and the Albuquerque Journal recently uncovered three legal malpractice lawsuits against her in the past six years. Cox's decision to quit doesn't necessarily leave Republicans without a candidate, as they'll have the chance to select a replacement for November's ballot.
APD has permanent chief
He's the same as the interim chief. Mike Geier will lead the Albuquerque Police Department after being officially named to the post by Mayor Tim Keller. Geier is a veteran of both Chicago's and Albuquerque's police forces, having retired from 20-year careers at both. Geier, who left APD for a time to become chief in Rio Rancho, said he'll shepherd the department into a new way of policing and vanquish "the old APD."
Take you out of the ballgame
An Albuquerque judge has put an end to accused attacker Justin Hansen's baseball exploits. Hansen pleaded no contest to charges that he brutally beat Brittani Marcell, but he's on electronic monitoring until sentencing. Hansen was free for a decade while police searched for Marcell's attacker. Her sister spotted him at an Isotopes game last week, prompting calls from prosecutors to limit his activities to something more closely resembling house arrest. Monitors had approved the outing.
Martinez supports family splits
Gov. Susana Martinez voiced support for the Trump administration's policy of separating children from parents who try to illegally enter the US. Breaking the law shouldn't be allowed, Martinez said ($), "simply because they have children."
Pray and bale
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District has closed its water bank, telling participants they can no longer irrigate their fields because storage levels have dropped too low. The bank was created as a way for people who sold their water rights that pre-dated 1907 to use surplus water in the system. A conservancy district board member told irrigators to "pray for rain and bale your hay." By way of pointing out the obvious, we've not yeat reached the middle of June.
About those prayers
There's a chance they'll be answered. Some merciful cloud cover rolled into parts of Northern New Mexico last night, even bringing rain to some places. Tropical moisture from storms in the Pacific is likely to reach central and northern parts of the state on Friday and Saturday, with some downpours heavy enough to produce flash flooding, especially in places that have newly burned, like Ute Park.
Thanks for reading! The Word loves the smell of rain on the wind. That doesn't happen in some other places.
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