Judge Sets Date For Officer Shooting Suspect's Weapons Trial, NM Pension Funds Face Lower Returns

Aug 11, 2016

Judge Sets Date For Officer Shooting Suspect's Weapons Trial – The Associated Press

A federal judge has set the date for the trial for an ex-convict charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm that authorities say was used in the shooting death of an Albuquerque police officer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the trial of Davon Lymon will begin Oct. 24 in Albuquerque.

The trial originally was scheduled for Aug. 3 in Las Cruces, but the judge postponed it in response to defense concerns about publicity surrounding the fatal shootings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Lymon was transferred to federal custody after his October arrest in the shooting of Officer Daniel Webster. He has not been charged in Webster's death but remains under investigation in the shooting.

Police say Webster pulled over Lymon for driving a motorcycle with a stolen license plate.

Questions Raised About New Mexico's Campaign Finance System – The Associated Press

Calls for improvements to New Mexico's electronic campaign finance reporting system are being reignited as more questions are raised about the accuracy and transparency of the data.

The latest request for an investigation came Wednesday from Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Democratic nominee in the race for secretary of state.

Toulouse Oliver, who also serves as Bernalillo County clerk, says a spot check of dozens of campaign spending records showed the purpose of some expenditures was omitted online while printed records provided more detail.

She said it appears the glitch has gone unnoticed for years.

State elections officials say the printable and downloadable reports are accurate and that the problem occurs only when online summary searches are done. They're working with the software vendor to correct the problem.

New Mexico Pension Funds Confront Lower Returns – The Associated Press

New Mexico's two major public pension funds have missed targets for investment returns for a second straight year.

The Public Employees Retirement Association that oversees pension funds for state, county and municipal workers is reporting a return on investment of less than 1 percent for the fiscal year ending in June. The Educational Retirement Board that oversees school district pensions is reporting a return of 2.6 percent after fees.

Long-term targets for annual returns are set above 7 percent at both funds.

The chairman of the state legislative committee overseeing pensions and state investment said Tuesday that the below-target investment returns are pushing up unfunded pension liabilities. Democratic Sen. George Munoz of Gallup says lawmakers are studying the idea of adding individual retirement accounts to pension plans to encourage savings.

New Mexico Judge Won't Allow Comments From Accused Killer – The Associated Press

A New Mexico judge will not allow several comments made by a man charged with killing a police officer to be used against him in court.

Judge George Eichwald said Tuesday that most of interview state police officers held with Andrew Romero in the wake of his arrest is inadmissible because it continued after Romero clearly said he did not want to continue talking.

Romero is charged with murder in the May 2015 shooting death of Rio Rancho officer Gregg "Nigel" Benner.

Romero's attorneys said the interrogation violated Romero's rights not to self-incriminate, but prosecutors argued that Romero kept talking to police even though he understood the consequences.

Only about six pages of the 51-page interview transcript will be allowed as evidence in the upcoming trial, which begins September 6.