APD Conduct Probe Of Abuse Case, Democrat Pat Davis Ends Congressional Run

May 29, 2018

Albuquerque Police Conduct Internal Probe Of Abuse CaseThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police have launched an internal investigation into the department's handling of a November 2017 encounter with the family of a 7-year-old girl now identified by authorities as a victim of abuse and sexual exploitation.

A police spokesman says Chief Michael Geier ordered the investigation Friday to seek a complete look at the steps taken or missed when officers interviewed the girl, her parents and school teacher.

The case sent a jolt through the state's child welfare system in recent weeks amid allegations the girl's father prostituted her, and forced her to sexually touch men and women in exchange for drugs and other items.

He's charged with human trafficking, criminal sexual contact of a minor and other crimes.

The mother is charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Democrat Pat Davis Ends Congressional RunThe Associated Press

Congressional candidate Pat Davis is bowing out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the open seat based in Albuquerque and is throwing his support behind challenger Debra Haaland.

Davis made the announcement Tuesday in an email message to supporters.

He says he's putting aside his personal ambitions and asking undecided voters to unite behind Haaland. He described her as the progressive candidate with the best chance of winning.

Haaland is facing former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, former law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, attorney Damian Lara and business consultant Paul Moya.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in the November general election. The congressional seat is open because U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque is running for governor.

Companies Settle With State In Dispute Over Tribal CasinosThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

A company that supplied gaming devices to an Indian reservation in New Mexico while it was operating casinos in violation of federal law has agreed to a financial settlement with the state Gaming Control Board.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a company that supplies cash-dispensing and counting machines to casinos also settled with the board as a result of its business with Pojoaque Pueblo.

Bally Gaming and Glory Global Solutions make a total of six companies that have resolved disputes with the Gaming Control Board over the use of their equipment by Pojoaque casinos while the casinos were operating without required agreements with the state.

A board spokesman says the settlements by Bally and Glory resolved the only remaining administrative and enforcement actions by the Gaming Control Board against the Pojoaque suppliers.

Two Of Four New Mexico Gubernatorial Hopefuls Provide Tax Returns – Associated Press, The Santa Fe New Mexican

Two of the four candidates for governor in New Mexico have provided their tax returns in response to a request from a newspaper.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that two Democrats — businessman Jeff Apodaca and state Sen. Joseph Cervantes — agreed to the newspaper's request to provide their tax returns.

But Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Steve Pearce declined to provide tax returns and instead offered the documents they file as members of Congress, which don't provide as much detail.

The newspaper asked each campaign to provide within one-week personal income tax returns filed in 2017 and 2018.

Poll: Martinez, Haaland, Sedillo Lopez Lead Close Democratic Primary Race For Congressional District 1 - The Albuquerque Journal 

A six-way primary race for the Democratic nomination for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District was “too close to call” with less than two weeks to go before the June 5th primary.

That’s according to a new poll by the Albuquerque Journal, which found that 22 percent of respondents favored former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, with Debra Haaland and Antoinetter Sedillo Lopez close behind with nearly 20 percent each.

The other three candidates – Pat Davis, Damian Lara and Paul Moya – each had the support of five percent or less of respondents.

The Journal poll found nearly a third of Democratic voters remained undecided.

It also noted that the top three candidates – Martinez, Sedillo Lopez and Haaland – are also the top fundraisers in the race, each with more than 700-thousand dollars in campaign money. 

On the Republican side, candidate Janice Arnold-Jones is unopposed in the primary, as is Lloyd Princeton who’s running as a Libertarian.

Allegations Of Slander, Mismanagement Mark Northern NM Congressional Race - The Santa Fe New Mexican

A Northern New Mexico Congressional race is heating up with allegations flying between the two Democratic candidates for House District 41.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports political newcomer Susan Herrera is threatening legal action against the longtime state Representative Debbie Rodella of Espanola.

Campaign mailers and radio ads by the incumbent Rodella’s campaign accuse Herrera of financial mismanagement when she was CEO of Los Alamos National Labs.

Over the weekend, Herrera called those allegations “slanderous and full of lies” and said she’s considering sending a cease and desist letter.

Rodella has represented the Northern New Mexico district since 1993.  The winner of the primary will run uncontested, as there’s no Republican candidate.

Dem Congress Hopeful Returns Money Linked To Husband's Cases – Associated Press, The Albuquerque Journal

A Democratic candidate in a tight race for an open Congressional seat in central New Mexico says she will return campaign contributions given to her by lawyers who had cases pending in the court of her husband, a state judge.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the campaign of Antoinette Sedillo Lopez said last week it will return $2,750 in campaign contributions given to her by seven lawyers. Those attorneys had cases pending before state District Judge Victor Lopez, her husband.

A spokesman for Sedillo Lopez's campaign, Jason Rodriguez, says she was unaware that the donors had cases before her husband at the time they made the contributions.

He says Sedillo Lopez decided to return the money immediately after the Journal raised the issue with the campaign Friday.

Court Program In Dona Ana County Focuses On Veterans – Associated Press, Las Cruces Sun-News

A new court program has opened in Dona Ana County that focuses on the substance abuse and mental health issues facing military veterans who have been charged with non-violent crimes.

Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the first hearing in the 3rd Judicial District Court's Veterans Treatment Court program was held on Wednesday.

It's the first veterans court program in southern New Mexico

The judicial district already has other "problem-solving courts," such as a drug court for juveniles and adults that tries to help rehabilitate repeat offenders whose offenses are driven by substance abuse.

Veterans participating in the new program will be given individualized treatment and counseling programs that run an average of 14 months or longer.

Food-Seeking Bear Bites Man In Gila National Forest – Associated Press

Authorities say a man camping in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico was bitten by bear that was drawn to the area by food that was kept in his tent.

The bear ripped open the tent early Sunday morning in the southern portion of the forest.

The man was able to get to a vehicle and drive himself to an emergency room.

The extent of his injuries is unknown.

Officials say the bear hasn't yet been trapped.

Authorities have asked all campers in the area to leave.

Barriers have been put up on forest roads to prevent campers from driving into the area.

Man Convicted Of Murder In Deaths Of Ex-Wife, Her Boyfriend – Associated Press, Alamogordo Daily News

A man has been convicted in the 2015 deaths of his ex-wife and her boyfriend in Alamogordo.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Terrick L. Thompkins was found guilty on May 22 of murder in the deaths of 30-year-old Jessica R. Thompkins and 33-year-old Phillip "PJ" Banka.

Thompkins is expected to be sentenced later this year.

Jurors heard testimony that Terrick was upset over losing custody of his two children to his ex-wife.

Jessica Thompkins' 13-year-old son was struck by a bullet fragment during the shooting and survived the injury.

Defense attorney Gary Mitchel said Terrick, who is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and was undergoing a PTSD episode on the evening of the shooting.

Diocese Of Las Cruces Investigating 'Weeping' Virgin Mary – Associated Press, The Hobbs News-Sun

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is investigating reports that a bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at a southeastern New Mexico church is weeping.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the investigation comes after alleged witness accounts of tears coming down the eyes of a bronze statue at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs, New Mexico.

The first occurrence was during the noon Mass earlier this month and then again last week. The first weeping garnered regional and national news as visitors from throughout New Mexico and Texas flocked to Hobbs for a visit. The building was filled with visitors by the time of Tuesday's second weeping.

Diocese Vice Chancellor Deacon Jim Winder says investigators will put together a report for Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu.