The Archdiocese of Santa Fe officially filed for bankrupcty protection yesterday. The Catholic Church division claimed between $10-$50 million in potential liabilities, and $49 million in assets, including real estate. That doesn't include $94 million in holdings for its parishes ($), many of which the church has converted into independent nonprofits in recent years.

Employee sues Santa Fe

A former recreation center employee is suing the city of Santa Fe, claiming her supervisor sexually assaulted and harassed her ($). The city fired Shannon Ridgeway in August. In her suit, she says Bernie Garcia groped and kissed her aggressively, and tried to pin down her location in the massive Genoveva Chavez Community Center by demanding her whereabouts over a walkie talkie. She claims she hid from him under tables in a conference room. After Ridgeway reported them, a city investigation didn't reach a conclusion about the claims.

The ruling on the field

Yvette Herrell's campaign has begun a review of some 8,000 absentee ballots in Doña Ana County. Herrell has made vague allegations that the ballots are somehow suspect, though she's largely maintained silence with local media since proclaiming the ballots in question during a Fox News interview shortly after the election. A spokeswoman said yesterday to an El Paso TV station that campaign workers are scanning each one of the ballots. That spokeswoman is Bobbi Shearer, a former state elections director.

Pick ’em

Republicans will gather on Saturday to choose the next head of the state party. They were roundly defeated in midterm elections, losing ground in the state House, as well as every federal and statewide contest. Losing gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce is running for party chair against Albuquerque's John Rockwell. The Albuquerque Journal's Dan Boyd reports former Speaker of the House Don Tripp sent an email to party faithful endorsing Rockwell over Pearce.

Harness retained

Ed Harness, the director of Albuquerque's Civilian Police Oversight Agency, will have his contract extended for three years. The agency was created as Albuquerque began to deal with a federal investigation that found it had been engaging in unconstitutional police practices for years. The City Council had delayed action on Harness' contract under somewhat mysterious circumstances, but voted to approve it last night without explaining the holdup.

Letting Columbus set sail

New Mexico may join a handful of states that have renamed Columbus Day. A legislative panel gave its endorsement to a bill that would turn the second Monday into October into a day honoring the state's 23 Native communities. Incoming Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she supports the idea.

FOLQ center

Seeking to bring together a community it says has been disconnected, PRIDE Santa Fe has opened an LGBTQIA+ community center in midtown. The new FOLQ center will serve as a place for youth, gallery, music space and counseling center. SFR's Sarah Eddy spoke to the group's director about hopes for the intergenerational spot and how it plans to keep the doors open.

All lit up

The governor hosted the lighting of the state Christmas tree last night on a chilly evening in Santa Fe. Expect more cold today with clear skies. It should warm up for a couple of days before the next storm system rolls through, likely on Friday.

Thanks for reading! The Word loves holiday lights. Who doesn't? OK, maybe the neighbor across the street from the music-synced, pulsating whole-house-wrapped display. Which is understandable. Those people deserve extra Christmas cookies.

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