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Municipal Court Closing From Noon July 22-25

on July 21, 2014 - 9:03pm


Los Alamos County Municipal Court will close at noon Tuesday, July 22 and remain closed through Friday, July 25 for Court Staff Professional Development.

The Court will reopen Monday, July 28.


Municipal Court to Close at Noon July 22-25

on July 16, 2014 - 8:41am
The Municipal Court will close at noon July 22-25 for Court Staff Professional Development.
For more information, call 505.662.8025.

Lujan Grisham on Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

on July 2, 2014 - 8:11am

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, released the following statement June 30 in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby:

“Today’s decision shows just how far the Roberts court is willing to go to put the interests of private corporations over the needs of working families. The court gives corporations the freedom to discriminate—based on religious beliefs—against its own employees.”

Governor's Former Campaign Manager Pleads Guilty to Computer Intrusion and False Statement Charges

on June 17, 2014 - 7:51am

Jamie Estrada

FBI News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jamie Estrada, 41, of Los Lunas pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to the unlawful interception of electronic communications and false statement charges arising out of the unlawful interception of wire communications intended for others, including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and members of her staff.

In announcing Estrada’s guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Damon P.

New CASA Volunteers Sworn In to Advocate for Children

on May 24, 2014 - 7:35am

New CASA volunteers from left, Jim Bradbury, George Flores, Rachel Scholz, Lisa Gonzales, Suzan Hall with Judge Ellington and Suzie Leite. Courtesy photo

CASA News:

SANTA FE—The Hon. Judge T. Glen Ellington of the First Judicial District swore in six volunteers May 22 as CASA volunteers—court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children. The new volunteers are Jim Bradbury, George Flores, Rachel Scholz, Lisa Gonzales, Suzan Hall and Suzie Leite.

Family and friends gathered in the First District Court House in Santa Fe to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to

Damon Martinez New U.S. Attorney for New Mexico

on May 22, 2014 - 9:08am

Damon P. Martinez

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined the Senate in voting unanimously to confirm Damon P. Martinez to be U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico.

Martinez has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2001 and as acting U.S. Attorney since March 2014. He is highly experienced in cases concerning national security and anti-terrorism, immigration and narcotics. The senators recommended Martinez for the position of U.S. Attorney in an April 26, 2013, letter to President Obama.

"Damon Martinez has already stepped up to the plate as

Probate Judge Christine Chandler Speaks at Lunch with a Leader at Mesa Public Library Tuesday

on May 18, 2014 - 2:02pm

Los Alamos Probate Judge Chris Chandler


The League of Women Voters will have Probate Judge Christine Chandler as their speaker Tuesday, May 20 at Mesa Library. The lunch will begin at 11:40 a.m. and is open to the entire community.

Chandler was appointed Probate Judge by the Los Alamos County Council in August 2013 to fill a vacancy. She is  and is running for the position in the 2014 election.

Chandler grew up in Massachusetts and received her BA from Smith College, with a major in economics.

Police Dispatch Operator Charged With DUI

on May 15, 2014 - 9:28am


Los Alamos Police Dispatch Operator Randon Romero was arrested May 2 by Santa Fe police and charged with aggravated driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs, .16 or above, first offense.

Romero was arraigned May 7 in Santa Fe Magistrate Court at which Judge George Anaya, Jr. set bond at $5,000.

"I am aware of this situation," LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone told the Los Alamos Daily Post, adding that Romero remains on the job pending the outcome of an investigation.

A pre-trial hearing is set for June 17 at the Santa Fe Magistrate Court.

New Mexico court

DA's Office Drops Charges Against Michael Calhoun

on May 6, 2014 - 4:05pm


The District Attorney's Office has dropped all charges against Michael Calhoun of Los Alamos for lack of evidence.

Los Alamos police filed charges Feb. 8 against Calhoun, 46, of negligent use of explosives and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The case was dismissed without prejudice March 18, which is a dismissal that allows for re-filing of the case in the future.

The Children's Court dropped the charge of negligent use of explosives filed by Los Alamos police Feb. 8 against a 14-year-old Los Alamos boy, citing lack of evidence.

Probate Court Judge Presents FY2015-FY2016 Budgets

on April 22, 2014 - 7:10pm

Probate Court Judge Christine Chandler presents her FY2015-FY2016 budgets and laughs together with Budget and Grants Manager Gina Torpy and Deputy County Administrator/CFO Steven Lynne as she said her budget is likely the smallest in the County to which Council Chair Geoff Rodgers joked, 'And tonight it will be cut in half.' Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

Probate Court Judge Christine Chandler presented her FY2015-FY2016 budgets to County Council this evening in Council Chambers.

The Probate Court Adopted Budget for 2014 is $5,747 and Chandler was able to tighten up

Catch and Release: The Saga of Judge Raphaelson, Aaron Nguyen, and Public Safety

on February 22, 2014 - 10:01am
Los Alamos

Somewhat incomprehensibly, District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson has once again given convicted burglar Aaron Nguyen a get out of jail free pass. This is in spite of her telling him at his initial sentencing hearing, on multiple felonies, that if he violated any of the terms of his probation, he would go to jail for the full term of his sentence.

Mr. Nguyen promptly violated those terms and it would seem he called Her Honor's bluff. Indeed, Judge Raphaelson is now saying "A prison sentence for a 100-pound, 19-year-old boy is grossly inappropriate ... I do

Victims Question Whether Judge Qualified to Render Sentence on Serial Burglar

on February 20, 2014 - 11:02pm
District Judge Sheri A. Raphaelson rendered no jail time for convicted serial burglar Aaron Nguyen despite his probation violation, which has his victims questioning her ability to try the case. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Aaron Nguyen, 19, of Los Alamos briefly apologizes to victims in the courtroom Wednesday before turning to the judge to tell her that his mental health is now a top priority. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Defendant Aaron Nguyen, 19, sits with his mother and father before his sentencing hearing begins in District Court. Nguyen's father, leaning

Judge's Sentence for Los Alamos Serial Burglar Has Victims Reeling

on February 19, 2014 - 1:41pm
Attorney Steve Aarons with convicted serial burglar Aaron Nguyen, 19, of Los Alamos who hangs his head as witnesses speak out at his sentencing hearing this morning in District Court at the Justice Center. The judge continued his five-year probation and treatment but ordered no jail time, which had victims lashing out in frustration. Check back at later for the full report. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Attorney Steve Aarons begins to lay out a case for his client's November probation violation, saying he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Los Alamos Municipal Judge Alan Kirk Seeks Fifth Term

on February 6, 2014 - 3:25pm

Judge Alan Kirk. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Judge Alan S. Kirk told the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning that he will seek a fifth term as Municipal Judge of Los Alamos County.

"I want to continue providing services to the community through the professional staff of the court that we have developed," Kirk said. "This includes community service programs, probation programs and our extremely successful teen court program."

Kirk moved to Los Alamos in 1958 and graduated from Los Alamos High School and Eastern New Mexico University.

Cease and Desist Order Issued Against Los Alamos Man

on February 6, 2014 - 11:52am
Jerry Beery at a Los Alamos County Council meeting last year. File photo
Staff Report

The State issued an order Tuesday to stop a Los Alamos resident from selling unauthorized securities to senior citizens and retirees in an illegal scheme.

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Securities Division issued the cease and desist order against Jerome Griggs Beery who sold securities totaling more than $200,000 to mostly retirees and senior citizens in Los Alamos, in violation of state law.

Beery, 79, who is not a state-licensed investment broker, has been ordered to cease

Los Alamos County Administrator Issues Statement on Police Lawsuit

on January 17, 2014 - 9:00am

Harry Burgess


Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess issued the following statement today with regard to Wednesday's filing of a lawsuit against the County by two former Los Alamos police commanders and a detective:

"Late Wednesday afternoon we were notified by media that the law office of George Geran chose to release to them a lawsuit supposedly filed against the County by three current/former LAPD officers.  

"As of yesterday afternoon, the lawsuit had still not been served on Los Alamos County.

Breaking News: Police Officers Sue Los Alamos County

on January 15, 2014 - 4:01pm

UPDATE: The Los Alamos Daily Post just received the following comment from Los Alamos County: The County has not received the lawsuit from the office of George Geran, and as such, has not had the opportunity to review it.

Former Commander Randy Foster

Staff Report

Two former commanders of the Los Alamos Police Department and one current detective filed a lawsuit today against Los Alamos County, alleging wrongful discharge, retaliation and gender discrimination.

The Complaint seeks redress for harms the County inflicted upon the three, former Commander Randy Foster, former Commander Scott

Los Alamos News Highlights For 2013

on December 31, 2013 - 11:04am

Los Alamos County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers and Councilors dedicate the new building as community members look on. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Municipal Building Dedication: Community members turned out as former and current County officials cut the ribbon on the new Los Alamos County Municipal Building June 28 at 1000 Central Ave. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos National

FBI: John Charles McCluskey to Receive Life in Prison for Murdering Oklahoma Couple

on December 12, 2013 - 10:58am
Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee
FBI Albuquerque Division

FBI News:

WASHINGTON—John Charles McCluskey, 48, will receive a life prison sentence for a host of crimes arising from the carjacking and murder of a couple from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, after a federal jury today announced that it could not reach a unanimous decision on whether to impose the death penalty.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough of the District of New Mexico, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O.

Attorneys Respond to Los Alamos County's Settlement With Detective

on December 11, 2013 - 8:12pm
Det. Brian Schamber
Staff Report
Following this afternoon's announcement that Los Alamos County and Los Alamos Police Det. Brian Schamber had reached a settlement agreement, comments were issued from Schamber's attorney and an attorney representing three additional police officers with pending litigation against the County.
Comments from Schamber's attorney John W. Day of Egolf + Ferlic + Day, LLC in Santa Fe:
"Los Alamos County has agreed to pay upwards of $600,000 to settle Brian Schamber's claims.

Los Alamos County Settles Detective Suit at $600,000

on December 11, 2013 - 4:37pm


Los Alamos County and Los Alamos Police Department employee (Det.) Brian Schamber reached a settlement agreement Dec. 10.

Schamber had been evaluated by the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, N.M. in December 2012 before being released and cleared for active duty as a police officer by a psychiatrist. Following his release, Schamber had continued to be employed by the County but working from home after stating that, because he had been evaluated at a mental health institution, he was now prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm.

Los Alamos County

LANL Employees File Complaint Against Former Supervisor

on December 4, 2013 - 5:39pm

Tony Stanford

Los Alamos Daily Post

Attorney John Day filed a complaint in First District Court in Santa Fe this afternoon against Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Anthony "Tony" R. Stanford for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, supervision and retention.

Day, of EGOLF, FERLIC & DAY, LLC, filed the complaint on behalf of his clients Erika and William Gorman of Los Alamos who worked for Stanford at LANL.

Attorney John Day

"This was a horrifying situation, Erika was assaulted by her high

Los Alamos Police Commander Faces Poaching Charges; Jailer Faces Battery with Deadly Weapon

on December 3, 2013 - 10:21am

Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew

Los Alamos Daily Post

A citation was filed Nov. 22 in Alamogordo Magistrate Court against Los Alamos Police Commander Preston Ballew.

Ballew, 36, was charged with two counts of unlawful hunting or fishing (killing elk) and one count of vehicle travel under habitat protection act (trespassing.) Ofc. Jason Kline issued Ballew the citation Oct. 7.

Ballew is commander of the Los Alamos Bomb Squad. The Alamogordo Magistrate Court clerk said this morning that an arraignment for Ballew is scheduled for Dec. 10 in Alamogordo.

In a

Aaron Nguyen's Victims Share Statement

on November 29, 2013 - 8:49am
Aaron Nguyen
Los Alamos Daily Post

Convicted burglar Aaron Nguyen admitted to breaking into six homes in Los Alamos and taking everything from jewelry and electronics to guns and alcohol. At his July 24 sentencing hearing, Nguyen pled guilty to all 16 counts filed against him. Several victims testified at the hearing, urging District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson to render a stiffer sentence against the 18-year-old.

Dr. John Michael Pedicini and his wife Georgia were victims of Nguyen's crime spree, which spanned several months.

Help With The Hard Stuff: Managing Student Loans Part 3

on October 3, 2013 - 12:06pm

Help With the Hard Stuff:

Managing Student Loans

Part 3 (of 5) “Work-out and Default Options between Federal and Private Loans Are Critically Important”
By Gini Nelson, JD, MA

I emphasized in my last column the importance of understanding the different legal options federal lenders and private lenders have in responding to a student loan borrower’s inability to pay. Simply put:

WORK OUT OPTIONS – Private lenders and their servicers are not required to offer forbearances or deferments.