Mayor Berry Seeks Money From Han Family

Nov 27, 2014

Credit Courtesy of Han Family

There was a development this week in the Mary Han saga. Mary Han was a civil rights attorney who often represented clients with claims against the Albuquerque Police Department.

She was found dead in her home in 2010 and according to police records, within hours of the discovery of her body, APD brass and city administration officials swarmed her home. 

In 2013, the New Mexico Attorney General's office issued a findings letter detailing how the crime scene had been contaminated and the investigation terribly mishandled. 

The state Attorney General and APD records show the death was ruled a suicide by then Deputy Chief Paul Feist a short time after he arrived at the scene before any meaningful investigation had been conducted.

The family sued, claiming a violation of Mary Han’s civil rights. A federal judge in Albuquerque dismissed the case and the Berry administration filed a motion to recover legal fees from the Han family.

The city council passed a resolution calling upon the city attorney to rescind that motion. Mayor Richard Berry vetoed that measure this week. If a judge rules in the city’s favor, the Han family will owe more than $60,000. 

Editor's Note: Information about the sources of the critiques of the Albuquerque Police Department has been included in this story. It was not included in the original version. We regret the error.