News Update Wednesday June12th

Jun 12, 2013

Report: IG Faults Payments To Ex-Rep. Wilson - The Associated Press

The Energy Department's inspector general says former Congresswoman Heather Wilson collected $450,000 in questionable payments from the nation's federally funded nuclear labs after she left office.

A report says the New Mexico Republican failed to document what she did to earn $20,000 a month from New Mexico's Los Alamos and Sandia national labs from 2009 to 2011.

The inspector general says private contractors that run the labs have reimbursed the government for the payments. An investigation continues.

The payments to Wilson included nearly $30,000 from the Nevada Test Site and the Oak Ridge lab in Tennessee.

The report says Sandia and Los Alamos appear to have asked Wilson to help them secure more work for the labs, an apparent violation of her contract.

Wilson says the report confirms that the labs were satisfied with her work and that it was done in full compliance with the contracts.

District Attorney Applies For Vacant NM Judgeship - The Associated Press

District Attorney Diana Martwick of Alamogordo is among seven lawyers asking to be considered for a vacant judgeship in southern New Mexico.

A Judicial Nominating Commission announced the applicants on Tuesday.

The bipartisan panel will meet next week in Alamogordo to interview the candidates and decide who to recommend to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for possible appointment to the judgeship in the 12th Judicial District of Otero and Lincoln counties.

District Court Judge William Brogan resigned last month to avoid possible disciplinary action by the state Supreme Court.

Martwick, a Republican, has served as district attorney for the 12th Judicial District since 2009.

Other applicants for the judicial vacancy are lawyers Peter S. Burns, Pilar Tirado Murray, James S. Newton, Angie K. Schneider, Janice B. Schryer and Kirby A. Wills.

Detective Slated To Testify In Ex-NM Officer Case - The Associated Press

A key former detective who later doubted that the wife of a former Albuquerque officer committed suicide is slated to take the stand in the former officer's murder trial.

Former Valencia County Sheriff's Detective Aaron Jones is expected Wednesday to testify in trial of Levi Chavez.

Chavez is standing trial in Sandoval District Court for killing his 26-year-old wife and trying to make it look like a suicide. He is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence and has pleaded not guilty.

Jones was one of the first deputies to arrive at a Los Lunas home in 2007.

But defense attorney David Serna said in his opening statements that Jones tried to bias potential witnesses against Levi Chavez.

Sacred Wind, Laguna Unveil Broadband Project - The Associated Press

Laguna Pueblo is working with Sacred Wind Communications to bring Internet service to the central New Mexico tribe.

The high-speed broadband project was first unveiled last week. Officials say it's aimed at connecting every home and building in the tribe's six villages.

The project has been funded through six separate grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The director of the pueblo's utility authority, Leonard Otero, says the service means residents will have access to academic, medical, employment and other types of valuable information.

Sacred Wind will train utility workers to manage the broadband system, and different service packages will be available to residents.