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AG Obtains Restraining Order To Protect Homeowners

on August 17, 2016 - 10:40am
AG News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday that the Office of the Attorney General obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction against a New Mexico attorney, Joshua R. Simms, and a group of non-attorneys who operate a mortgage assistance relief business which operates under the name "Praedium Preservation."
The Attorney General alleged that Praedium Preservation took advantage of and profited from consumers in financial distress who are trying to avoid a foreclosure on their homes. "Praedium Preservation" is headed by Mukthiar S.

Heinrich Welcomes DOJ Request To Retrieve Stolen Acoma Pueblo Shield

on July 28, 2016 - 3:26pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed the news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking a warrant to retrieve a stolen Pueblo of Acoma religious shield that's being held in France.
The shield was scheduled to be sold off by the EVE Auction House in Paris in May, but was cancelled after the Pueblo of Acoma, Senator Heinrich, and others worked to halt the sale.

"The Department of Justice's request to retrieve this sacred shield is welcome news, and I will work to ensure it's brought back to the Pueblo of Acoma where it belongs," Heinrich

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Seeks To Invalidate New Cleanup Order For LANL

on July 24, 2016 - 7:09am

DOE News:

Nuclear Watch New Mexico amended its complaint against the U.S. Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which alleges 12 cleanup violations of the 2005 Consent Order issued by the New Mexico Environment Department for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The amendment is asking the federal court to invalidate the recently issued Consent Order because the Department did not hold a formal public hearing as required by federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations.

The U.S.

Dabney: Pets Rule, Owners Drool

on July 22, 2016 - 7:07am

Reid Griffith Law Firm

You’ve probably seen a favorite gag scene of mine in the movies.

This one comes from a 1976 flick, The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Inspector Clouseau checks into a Swiss hotel, then sees a dog sitting on the floor. He asks the clerk, “Does your dog bite?” The clerk responds in the negative. Clouseau reaches down to pet the dog, and the dog viciously attacks his gloved hand!

“I thought you said your dog did not bite!”
“That is not my dog…”

Had the scene arisen in Los Alamos, the dog would have been impounded for 10 days by the Los Alamos

Municipal Court Closure Dates Announced

on July 14, 2016 - 9:21am


The Los Alamos Municipal Court Clerk’s Office will be closed the following dates and times for staff to attend training:

  • Tuesday, July 19, 3-5 p.m.

 and all day on:

  • Wednesday, July 20
  • Thursday, July 21
  • Friday, July 22




AG On Judge’s Ruling Against Sen. Phil Griego

on July 14, 2016 - 9:15am
Attorney General Hector Balderas 
From the Office of the Attorney General:
SANTA FE – The four day preliminary hearing regarding Sen. Phil Griego has come to a close and Judge Brett R. Loveless issued his ruling. Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following statement in response:
“Today, the Office of the Attorney General concluded its arguments in the preliminary hearing of former Sen. Phil Griego and our prosecutors presented an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the charges filed before Judge Brett R. Loveless.

FBI: Charges Increase Against Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization Leadership

on July 11, 2016 - 7:13am

Bandidos National President Jeffrey Fay Pike. Courtesy image

FBI News:

In San Antonio, a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment against the highest ranking leaders of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (OMO) adding a murder charge and a new defendant to the federal racketeering indictment returned in January.

That announcement was made recently by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Western District of Texas; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M.

Judge Defers Sentencing Of Small Business Owner

on July 10, 2016 - 11:19am
Small business owner Katie Brouseau, second from right, is surrounded by supporters Thursday morning outside the Municipal Courtroom following her hearing. From left, Doris Prokop, Atomic City Quilts owner Shelly Kuropatwinski, LACDC Chair David Jolly, Chamber Manager Nancy Partridge, Brouseau and small business owner Karen Wray. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Local small business owner Katie Brousseau prepares to pay the clerk the $60 court fee Thursday following her hearing at the Justice Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily

Council Taps Anne Nobile For Probate Judge

on July 7, 2016 - 9:03am
Probate Judge Anne Nobile. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Longtime Los Alamos resident Anne Nobile is Los Alamos County’s new probate judge.

She replaces Bill McKerley who resigned when it was determined he could not hold the position while also serving as chair of the Republican Party of Los Alamos. He resigned May 20, 2016 but agreed to serve until replaced. 

The Los Alamos County Council voted 6-1 to appoint Nobile to serve the remainder of this year’s term through Dec.

Gessing: New Mexico’s Supreme Court Ignores Law On Worker’s Compensation

on July 7, 2016 - 8:51am

Farmer Chuck Havlik. Courtesy photo

By PAUL GESSING, President
Rio Grande Foundation

New Mexico’s Legislature had previously enacted a law that allowed employers with more than three employees to opt out of coverage for farm and ranch laborers but not other agricultural workers. The liberal-dominated New Mexico Supreme Court — Justice Judy Nakamura being the sole exception — decided that instead of the duly-elected Legislature being called upon to change the law, they should simply ignore the law on the grounds of “equal protection.”

While some news reports hailed the decision as a victory

San Juan County Business Owners Face Federal Health Care Fraud Charges

on July 6, 2016 - 7:46am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso announced the filing of health care fraud charges against two San Juan County residents.
Cory Werito, 32, of Farmington and Rosita Toledo, 46, of Kirtland are charged in a 10-count indictment filed June 15, 2016. Werito and Toledo were arrested June 28, 2016, by Deputy U.S. Marshals and made their initial appearances on the indictment in federal court June 28 in Farmington.

New Mexico Judiciary Launches Redesigned Website

on June 29, 2016 - 8:34am
NMJ News:
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Judiciary is launching a new website to improve public access to state courts. Users can now browse the restyled website at
For the first time, there will be a consistent design and navigation for judicial web pages, whether it’s for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, district courts, the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, magistrate courts or the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The updated website also is mobile-friendly to make it easily viewable on different devices, whether it’s a smartphone or tablet.

Probate Judge Vacancy Letters Deadline Is Tuesday

on June 17, 2016 - 9:41am


There are only a few days remaining to apply for the Los Alamos County Probate Judge vacancy. Letters of interest must be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 21.

Under State law, any qualified person over the age of 18 who is a resident of Los Alamos County may serve, Letters of interest should be received via U.S. mail or hand-delivered by the Tuesday deadline – submit the letter to:

Harry Burgess, County Manager

Los Alamos County Municipal Building

1000 Central Avenue, Suite 350

Los Alamos, NM 87544

This item is on the Los Alamos County Council's agenda for June 28.

Dabney: Scofflaws And Warrants ... Don’t Let A Ticket Land You In Jail

on June 16, 2016 - 4:01pm
By Attorney Philip J. Dabney
Reid Griffith Law Firm
Our small community has two newspapers, and both routinely report on local police activities. Each has a “police blotter” with the recent arrests by Los Alamos Police and other authorities. Many of you who look to see if your friends or enemies have been arrested and how badly their mugshots turned out may wonder what it means when someone is arrested for an outstanding warrant.

Most of the time, an outstanding warrant arises when that person failed to appear in court to respond to a minor traffic or other criminal charge.

Dabney: DUIs Are Not Just For Drivers

on June 1, 2016 - 1:08pm
By Attorney Philip J. Dabney
Reid Griffith Law Firm
Common sense suggests that the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs applies to those foolish enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive after becoming impaired. Of course, that is true. But the law also says passengers of the impaired driver could also face criminal prosecution under certain circumstances.
Consider the tragic story of Patrick Marquez and Leo Lucero. Mr. Lucero became intoxicated one night and drove his car into the rear of a van carrying 11 people.

Rep. Trujillo Endorses Maria Sanchez-Gagne For DA

on June 1, 2016 - 8:21am
District 46

As the State Representative of District 46 and an employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 30 years, I offer my endorsement for Maria Sanchez-Gagne as the democratic candidate for District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District, which includes the counties of Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba. 

The person most qualified to represent the Democratic Party is Maria Sanchez-Gagne. Maria has dedicated 20 years of her professional career prosecuting tough felony cases and protecting innocent victims.

SFNF Issues Order Prohibiting Marijuana

on May 26, 2016 - 12:27pm
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  In order to provide for public health and safety and protect resources, the Santa Fe National Forest issued an order that prohibits possessing, storing or transporting marijuana within Forest boundaries.
The order, which is in effect until May 31, 2018, allows Forest Service law enforcement personnel to issue citations to violators. Marijuana possession, storage or transport on the Forest is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or imprisonment for not more than six months. 

New Mexico Receives $3 Million For Foreclosure Legal Assistance For Homeowners

on May 26, 2016 - 10:08am
ALBUQUERQUE  New Mexico has received $3.3 million to help provide legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.
The money is from a 2014 settlement with Bank of America and its subsidiaries over mortgage practices. Terms of the settlement restrict use of the money to foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment. In New Mexico, the money will be awarded to legal aid groups based on grant applications. There are about 5,000 open mortgage foreclosure cases in the state.
An independent monitor overseeing the national settlement provides

Sanchez-Gagne: Why I Am Running To Be Your DA

on May 25, 2016 - 10:55am
Democratic Candidate
District Attorney

I am a native Santa Fean and life-long Democrat. I have worked as a career prosecutor for 20 years, having prosecuted hundreds of cases including violent crimes of child abuse, human trafficking and sexual assaults. I wrote New Mexico’s human trafficking law and prosecuted the first cases of human trafficking. Victims, regardless of their immigration status, are now able to receive benefits and resources to start a new life. I am responsible for the first state international extradition from Mexico.

Gessing: Accidental Criminals - Why New Mexico Needs 'Mens Rea' (Criminal Intent) Reform

on May 23, 2016 - 8:10am
By PAUL GESSING, President
Rio Grande Foundation

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico could make significant improvements to its criminal justice system by embracing a common-law principle called mens rea.

A new Rio Grande Foundation paper describes in detail why the New Mexico Legislature should embrace the principle of “guilty conscience” in criminal justice. As described by Roscoe Pound, the dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936: “Historically, our substantive criminal law is based upon a theory of punishing the vicious will.

Probate Judge Bill McKerley Tenders Resignation

on May 20, 2016 - 8:35pm

Probate Judge Bill McKerley

Staff Report:

Los Alamos County Probate Judge Bill McKerley has submitted his resignation from that office as recent changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct make the office incompatible with his role as chair of the local Republican Party.

As a result of the resignation of prior Probate Judge Christine Chandler, the office of Los Alamos County Probate judge was included in the Governor's call for the general election.

District Attorney Addresses Los Alamos County Council

on May 17, 2016 - 6:23pm

 First Judicial District Attorney Jennifer Padgett is addressing the Los Alamos County Council this evening at the White Rock Fire Station. Padgett explained that her office has approximately 75 employees and a budget of $5.8 million. She was recently appointed to the post by Gov. Susana Martinez to fill a vacancy left by Angela Spence Pacheco who retired. Padgett, who is seeking election to the position said no matter what happens in the June Primary Election she will serve for a year so she is interested in learning the needs and issues of each community. Photo by Carol A.

Readers View: Why There Is Only One Choice For District Attorney

on May 16, 2016 - 8:07am
Readers View
Los Alamos

With the craziness at the national level and so much focus on our legislative races, it is easy to forget about some of the crucial down ballot races happening.

Although my political consulting firm is not representing Maria Sanchez-Gagne's campaign, I am personally endorsing her for District Attorney and am asking for a moment of your time to explain why she deserves your support as well.

Maria Sanchez-Gagne

With a district that spans the counties of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe - experience is beyond critical.

Officials Participate In Community Safety Town Hall

on May 7, 2016 - 11:01am

Community Safety Town Hall panel members from left, Municipal Judge Alan Kirk, Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone, District Attorney Jennifer Padgett and Los Alamos County Deputy Sheriff John Horne with facilitator Bill Wadt discussing community safety issues during Thursday's event at UNM-LA. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos County Magistrate Judge Pat Casados at Thursday's Community Safety Town Hall meeting at UNM-LA. Courtesy photo

Municipal Judge Alan Kirk and Dist. 43 Rep.

Law Day Op-Ed By Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniels

on May 2, 2016 - 12:26pm
By Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels
New Mexico Supreme Court
As we celebrate national Law Day on May 1 and Juror Appreciation Week in New Mexico, I would like to recognize the vital role each citizen plays in preserving the rule of law by serving on juries in our state courts.
New Mexico courts each year summon about 10 percent of the state’s adult population to participate in jury service. Along with the ballot box, the jury box is one of the two most direct forms of citizen participation in our system of self-government.
The New Mexico and United States constitutions guarantee the right to a