Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Jim Foy, defense attorney for 6th Judicial District Attorney Francesca Estevez, in a statement called the New Mexico Attorney General’s accusation that Estevez used a state-owned vehicle for personal use on June 11, 2016, “pure political grandstanding.” Foy said “the actions of the attorney general in calling the execution of a search warrant a ‘raid’ and reporting of activities regarding an on-going investigation are absolutely unprecedented. First, in my 30 years as a lawyer I have never known the attorney general to prosecute allegations of speeding or reckless driving, let alone use that crime as a basis to collect evidence in a search warrant. Second, I have never known or heard that an elected official’s driving could constitute a violation of the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act. Third, there was no accident or accident investigation involving this matter, so to claim Ms. Estevez could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident or failure to report an accident after the police held her for two hours is ludicrous.” Foy concluded.
Former Senator Jeff Bingaman, a native of Silver City, was recently awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultrual Council’s Keep the Dream Alive Award. The award is presented to individuals and organizations that have contributed to keeping King’s dream alive through volunteer work and other activities that benefit people and communities.
In legislative action, New Mexico lawmakers are looking to rewrite regulations that dictate wild animals must be euthanized if the animal attacks a human. In the bill introduced before the Legislature, case-by-case review would determine whether an animal appears to be rabid and needs to be euthanized, or is acting in self-defense, as was the case in an attack on a marathon runner last June in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The bear that attacked the runner was put down, even though she was only protecting her cubs, and the runner has helped develop the legislation to protect these animals.
Governor Martinez has officially proclaimed Jan. 22-28 as New Mexico School Choice Week, joining 14 other governors and more than 500 city and county leaders nationwide in issuing similar proclamations.
A state lawmaker wants to close a loophole that lets members of the New Mexico Legislature accept campaign money while they’re in session. Current law prohibits members and candidates for the Legislature from soliciting contributions from January 1st until they adjourn, but still lets them accept donations.