Governor May Add 'More Items' To Special Session, Fed Official In NM Took Gifts, Meals

Sep 10, 2016

Gov. Martinez: 'More Items' May Be Added To Special SessionAssociated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is signaling she may add "more items" to a looming special session on the state's budget crisis.

Martinez spokesman Mike Lonergan said Friday the Republican governor may seek to have "key issues addressed" if Senate Democrats want a lengthy session. But Lonergan did not say what legislative items Martinez would include.

In recent weeks, the Republican governor has called for the return of the death penalty in New Mexico and has repeated her demand for stronger drunken driving penalties.

Jim Farrell, a spokesman for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, said Senate Democrats would not respond to the governor's latest suggestion.

Democratic New Mexico lawmakers say Martinez hasn't offered a plan to fill the state's budget hole.

Martinez has promised to call a special legislative session once lawmakers have concrete proposals.

Report: Federal Official In New Mexico Took Gifts, MealsSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A new report is raising questions about a former federal Bureau of Land Management official who worked in New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a U.S. Interior Department report made public this week says Steve Henke may have violated agency policy and federal law by accepting gifts and meals.

Henke served the manager of the bureau's Farmington Field Office before taking a top job with New Mexico's largest oil and gas trade organization in 2010.

The report says Henke accepted gifts and meals and didn't financially disclose them. It also says Henke may have influenced witnesses, including his wife and staff, to convey false information to inspectors.

Henke told The Associated Press he stood by his record and believed the report "lacked depth."

New Mexico Ballot To Include Alternative To Trump, ClintonSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A group backed by Republicans who don't support their party's presidential nominee has won a spot on New Mexico's ballot, potentially giving the state's voters another choice in the presidential election.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the group, Better for America, says it will find a third party alternative to Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The party's efforts to recruit someone have slowed, however, because its biggest supporters have been focusing on independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin of Utah. McMullin has already secured ballot spots in several states and Better for America is expected to nominate him as its candidate in New Mexico.

McMullin is a former CIA officer, Goldman Sachs associate and Republican congressional staffer.

Court: Emails Sent On Suspect Probation Before Girl's DeathAssociated Press

A top officer for a New Mexico court says emails and documents show clerks sent the probation file for a man charged in the brutal slaying of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl to corrections officials more than a year before his arrest in the crime last month.

But the Corrections Department maintained Friday it never received the February 2015 file that it says would have prompted probation officers to begin monitoring Fabian Gonzales.

Gonzales and two others, including the girl's mother, have been arrested in the killing of Victoria Martens, whose death last month sent shockwaves through the state.

Documents that court officials say were made available to the Corrections Department this week indicate Gonzales' file was emailed to probation officers in an attachment with more than a dozen other cases.

Gov. Martinez Names Dem, Republican To Legislative SeatsAssociated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed a Republican and a Democrat to two open legislative seats.

Martinez announced Friday she named James White of Albuquerque to fill the vacancy created in Senate District 19 by the resignation of former Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort. White served in the New Mexico House of Representatives from 2009 to 2014.

She also has appointed Harry Garcia of Grants to fill the vacancy created in House District 69 by the resignation of former Rep. Kenny Martinez. He has been a small business owner in Cibola County for more than 30 years.