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Charges Filed Against Secretary Of State Dianna Duran

on August 30, 2015 - 8:29am

Secretary of State Dianna Duran

Staff Report

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas charged Secretary of State Dianna Duran Friday in District Court with 64 counts including embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, violations of the Campaign Practice Act, tampering with public records, conspiracy and violation of a Governmental Conduct Act.

The investigation into Duran’s alleged misuse of campaign funds and withdrawal of money at casinos around the state began following a tip.


New Mexico Judiciary Endorses Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment

on August 27, 2015 - 4:53pm
ALBUQUERQUE  The New Mexico Judiciary will ask the Legislature to let voters decide whether to approve reforms to the bail system for the release of criminal defendants awaiting trial.
The proposed amendment to the New Mexico Constitution will allow judges the lawful option of denying pretrial release on bail to defendants who are too dangerous or unreasonable flight risks. The proposal also will guarantee that no person entitled to pretrial release is held in jail simply because they are financially unable to afford a money bond.    
Current provisions of the state

Los Alamos Municipal Court Closed Aug. 31-Sept. 4

on August 25, 2015 - 8:54am


The Los Alamos Municipal Court Clerk’s Office will close Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 for staff training. All Municipal Court Offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for Labor Day.

Payments due during this period may be mailed to:

  • Los Alamos Municipal Court
  • 2500 Trinity Dr, Ste. C
  • Los Alamos, NM 87544

Some payments may be paid online at

The Court Clerk’s Office will re-open after Labor Day at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Hill Diner In Los Alamos Has Sold!

on August 12, 2015 - 11:47am

Hill Diner and the Magistrate Court properties on Trinity Drive have sold. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Los Alamos Daily Post
Hill Diner and the adjacent building that housed Magistrate Court have sold to a Santa Fe investment group.

The combined property at 1315 and 1319 Trinity Dr. was listed at $549,900 for the two buildings on 0.676 acres; the final sale price has not been disclosed.

Hill Diner. File photo

Refurbishing is underway at Hill Diner and the plan is to bring it back to its former glory as a warm and charming place for the community to gather

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Closed Aug. 26-28

on August 10, 2015 - 6:08pm


The Los Alamos Magistrate Court will be closed Aug. 26 through Aug. 28 while the judge and clerk attend a conference.

The court will reopen at 8 a.m. Aug. 31.


US District Court Judge Speaks To Los Alamos Youth

on August 10, 2015 - 9:22am

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Gonzales, appointed by President Obama in 2013, spoke to approximately 50 students including six students from Los Alamos Teen Court Sunday at Glorieta Retreat Center during the New Mexico Teen Court Association (NMTCA) retreat and training. Photo by Jennifer Bartram

Bench Warrant Round Up Will Follow Amnesty Period To Encourage Parents To Pay Child Support

on August 6, 2015 - 11:12am

Gov. Susana Martinez


SANTA FE — For the fourth year in a row, Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a crackdown on parents who aren’t paying child support.

The child support bench warrant operation starts this week and continues through the end of the month.

“You have to contribute to the upbringing of your children – there are no excuses,” Martinez said. “We are committed to standing up for New Mexico’s children and ensuring that parents are upholding their responsibilities. If you owe child support, now is the time to fulfill your obligation.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Docket Aug. 11-31

on August 3, 2015 - 6:19pm
The following is the upcoming docket for Magistrate Court in the Los Alamos Justice Center with the Honorable Judge Pat A. Casados presiding unless otherwise noted:
Tuesday, Aug. 11:
1:30 p.m. (Judge: Matthew S. Page ― Los Alamos Magistrate Court)
Defendant: Jaryd E Marquez
Proceeding: Pre-Trial Hearing
Prosecutor: Kent Wahlquist ; Def Atty: Tyr Loranger; Officer: Monica Salazar
Monday, Aug. 17:
9 a.m. 
Defendant: Amanda N. Tapia
Proceeding: Arraignment
Prosecutor: ; Def Atty:; Officer: David J. Boe
9 a.m. 

Los Alamos Probation Officer: Tough but Caring

on July 23, 2015 - 10:47am
Los Alamos Probation Officer Linda Peña
Los Alamos Kiwanis Club

Linda Peña, the adult probation officer for Los Alamos County Municipal Court and Magistrate Court, says she’s “safe, blunt, and I don’t sugar coat” the situation with offenders.

However, it was obvious July 14, as she spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, that she cares deeply about her work.

In a brief interview after her talk, she said that she grew up in an area  “riddled by drugs and crime” (although her immediate family didn’t do drugs or drink), and she wanted to “help people get out of that

Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero Sworn Into Governor Appointed Board Position

on July 22, 2015 - 6:51pm

Magistrate Judge Patricia Casados swears in Los Alamos Sheriff Marco Lucero today at the Justice Center. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Sheriff Lucero to the New Mexico Oversight Search and Rescue Board and it is required that he be sworn into this new position. Sheriff Lucero was welcomed onto the Board when he attended his first meeting last week. Courtesy photo

Municipal Court Clerk’s Office Closing For Training

on July 15, 2015 - 3:14pm


The Los Alamos Municipal Court Clerk’s Office will close at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 21.

The Court Clerk’s Office will remain closed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 22, 23 and 24 for staff training. Payments due during this period may be mailed to Los Alamos Municipal Court, 2500 Trinity Dr., Ste. C, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Some payments may be paid online at

The Court Clerk’s Office will re-open at 8 a.m. Monday, July 27.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Docket July 6-28

on July 6, 2015 - 12:44pm
The following is the upcoming docket for Los Alamos Magistrate Court in the Justice Center with Judge Pat A. Casados presiding unless otherwise noted: 
Monday, July 6:
10 a.m.
Defendant: Gerardo Almanza Ruiz
Proceeding: Pre-Trial Hearing
Prosecutor: Def Atty: Tyr Loranger; Officer: David J. Boe
10:15 a.m.
Defendant: James B Scott, Jr.
Proceeding: Pre-Trial Hearing
Prosecutor: Def Atty:; Officer: Sheldon Simpson
10:30 a.m.
Defendant: Sam G King
Proceeding: Pre-Trial Hearing
Prosecutor: ; Def

FBI: Shiprock Man Sentenced For Federal Theft

on July 4, 2015 - 6:41am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE — Orlando Jay Johnson, 24, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, has been sentenced in federal court in Albuquerque to 12 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on theft occurring in Indian Country.
Johnson was arrested Oct. 31, 2014, after officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety were called to a fast food restaurant in Shiprock in response to a report that an elderly Navajo man had been robbed of his wallet and money.
According to the criminal complaint, Johnson followed the

FBI: Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Wire Fraud Charges In New Mexico

on June 28, 2015 - 7:34am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Joseph Lawler, 54, of Peoria, Ariz., entered a guilty plea in federal court in Albuquerque to a 12-count superseding indictment charging him with wire fraud offenses.

The guilty plea, which was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement, was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Lawler pled guilty to all 12 counts of a superseding indictment that was filed on June 9, 2015, and alleged that between Aug.

Felon From Pojoaque Sentenced To Federal Prison For Unlawfully Possessing Ammunition

on June 26, 2015 - 11:42am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Nicholas Mondragon, 32, of Pojoaque was sentenced late Thursday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque to a year and a day in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Mondragon will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Mondragon pled guilty July 17, 2014, to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, Mondragon admitted that Feb. 25, 2014, he purchased a box of ammunition in Las Vegas, N.M.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján Applauds Supreme Court Decision In Support Of Marriage Equality

on June 26, 2015 - 10:04am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution by stating very clearly that everyone deserves equal protection under the law. 

Marriage equality is matter of civil rights and treating all people who are in a loving and committed relationship fairly. 

Today is a momentous day for the millions

Udall On Supreme Court Health Insurance Decision

on June 25, 2015 - 11:57am
Sen. To Udall
U.S. SENATE News:            

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell that residents of any state can receive health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

"I welcome the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell, which preserves the insurance policies of millions of Americans. The Affordable Care Act has enabled tens of thousands of New Mexicans to get health insurance for the first time.

"It's making our state healthier — and stronger economically.

Letter To The Editor: Hold Judiciary Accountable

on June 23, 2015 - 7:56am
By Rep. Paul Pacheco 
Since the tragic death of Rio Rancho Police officer Gregg Benner, we’ve heard a lot about judicial accountability, oversight and transparency, all of which are woefully lacking when it comes to keeping violent repeat offenders off our streets.
Not long after our community was struck with the news of this travesty, we discovered that the career criminal accused in this crime was facing three indictments but instead was given early release from a possible 13-year prison sentence.
The deal that allowed Andrew Romero free represents a fundamental flaw in our

American Federation Of Teachers New Mexico Reacts To 1st District Court Denial Of PED Motion

on June 17, 2015 - 4:40pm

AFT News:

Ruling is a Victory for All New Mexico Educators, Parents and Students

ALBUQUERQUE – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

Today’s ruling from Judge Thomson is a victory for all of New Mexico’s educators, parents, students, and our communities. In denying Secretary Skandera and the Public Education Department’s request to dismiss this lawsuit, an explicit acknowledgement was made that this case, in fact, brings a challenge to the PED’s evaluation system which must be heard.

“Judge Thomson made the correct assessment

AG’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit Prosecutes Racketeer And Wins $100,000 In Restitution For Victims

on June 14, 2015 - 12:24pm

John Meister booking photo. Courtesy/OAG

OAG News:

ALBUQUERQUE The Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has successfully prosecuted John Meister of New Mexico, resulting in $100,000 in restitution to victims.

The OAG Anti-Money Laundering Unit’s criminal investigation proved that Meister devised a scam to mislead two victims into bogus investment schemes while he was working for FedEx in 2013-2014.

Bernalillo County District Court has scheduled sentencing for Aug.

Los Alamos Probate Judge Addresses Rotary Club

on June 7, 2015 - 8:04am

At Tuesday's Rotary Club meeting at the golf course, Los Alamos County Probate Judge Christine Chandler presents a talk on the duties of her postion. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos County Probate Judge Christine Chandler talks about her work during Tuesday's Rotary Club meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

NM Hosts National Conference On Court Interpreters

on May 26, 2015 - 7:01am
SANTA FE  Managers of programs providing interpreting services for state courts across the country gathered in New Mexico last week for a national conference.
New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Vigil and Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, officially opened the conference. Supreme Court Justice Edward L. Chávez delivered a keynote address.

Other New Mexico presenters included Paul Kippert, assistant general counsel with the Department of Finance and Administration, and Lisa Dignan and Roger Robb with the Commission for the

Emergency Funding For Magistrate Courts Denied

on May 25, 2015 - 2:57pm



SANTA FE – Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin expressed disappointment Friday that the state Board of Finance denied a request for emergency funding of $750,000 for magistrate court operations in the final weeks of the current budget year.


AOC sought the emergency funding because magistrate courts do not have enough money to cover operating expenses through June after the governor vetoed a $750,000 supplemental appropriation approved by the Legislature. Lawmakers approved the money to address underfunding partly caused by a loss of revenues from

Director To Request $750,000 In Emergency Funding For Operations Of Magistrate Courts Through June

on May 19, 2015 - 11:48am

Scales of Justice. Courtesy image


Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin will appear before the state Board of Finance Thursday to request emergency funding of $750,000 for operations of magistrate courts through June.

In April, the governor vetoed a $750,000 supplemental appropriation approved by the Legislature to address underfunding partly caused by a loss of revenues from vetoes in 2014.

Without the requested $750,000 emergency grant, according to Pepin, the AOC will not pay leases on court buildings for June and state insurance premiums.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Docket May 11-26

on May 5, 2015 - 1:17pm
The following is the upcoming docket for Los Alamos County Magistrate Court:
Monday, May 11:
Judge: Pat A. Casados - Location: Los Alamos County Magistrate Court
8:15 a.m.
Defendant: Arturo Houston
Proceeding: First Appearance
Prosecutor:  NM District Attorney - 1st Santa Fe; Def Atty:; Officer: Ryan Wolking
8:30 a.m.
Defendant: Melissa V. Valdez-Romero
Proceeding: Jury Trial
Prosecutor: Kent Wahlquist; Def Atty: Thomas M. Clark; Officer: David J. Boe
Los Alamos County Magistrate Court Docket, Tuesday May 12: