Thursday News Roundup: Fired CEO Of NMFA Files Public Records Lawsuit

Oct 3, 2013

Fired CEO Of NMFA Files Public Records Lawsuit - Associated Press

The former top executive of the New Mexico Finance Authority sued Gov. Susana Martinez and one of her cabinet secretaries for failing to release public records requested in April.

Ex-CEO Rick May brought a lawsuit Wednesday in state district court in Santa Fe against Martinez and Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford.

A spokesman for the governor called it a frivolous lawsuit and said the administration had offered to release documents in batches while continuing to review thousands of records covered by the request.

May was fired last year after the discovery that the authority's financial audit had been faked. The authority's former comptroller, Greg Campbell, later pleaded guilty to forgery and securities fraud.

Among the requested documents were email between administration officials and NMFA board members since 2011.

Restored Wetlands Closing At NM State Park - Associated Press

Recently restored wetlands along the San Juan River at Navajo Lake State Park in northwestern New Mexico will be closed to public access until next August.

Restoration of the 45-acre wetlands at the park's Munoz Day Use Area was finished in July. About 50,000 willows, rushes and sedges were planted to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

State officials say a parking lot at the day use area will remain open and continue to provide access to trout fishermen to river sections called the Lower Flats and Baetis Bend.

The wetlands closure also will not block trails along the river used by fishermen.

Biologists with the Department of Game and Fish say closing the wetlands will allow the newly planted vegetation to become strongly established.

Government Shutdown Might Impact NV Mustang Fight - Associated Press

Citing the hardship of the government shutdown, Justice Department lawyers are asking a federal judge in Reno for a stay in a legal battle with wild horse advocates over hundreds of mustangs gathered from a wildlife refuge on the Nevada-Oregon line.

The horse advocates said Wednesday it's a ploy to keep them from securing an emergency court order to stop the shipment of animals to a contractor they say has a history of reselling them for slaughter.

About half of the 400 horses that once roamed the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge are scheduled to be shipped to a contractor in Mississippi beginning Friday.

The Justice Department acting on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service asked Judge Miranda Du to postpone any proceedings until Congress restores both agencies' appropriations.

Albuquerque Zoo Welcomes New Elephant Calf - Associated Press

Albuquerque's zoo is welcoming the newest member of its elephant herd.

Zoo officials will introduce the second calf delivered by 20-year-old Rozie, an Asian elephant, at a news conference Thursday morning.

Rozie gave birth to the female calf after 22 months of gestation.

The calf makes for the seventh elephant at ABQ BioPark.

Elephant manager Rhonda Saiers says both mother and daughter are doing well. Saiers says the calf is learning to nurse and will meet her sister, Daizy, and grandmother, Alice, in a few days.

The zoo says the calf will not yet be part of the public exhibit.

The zoo plans to let the public vote on a name for the calf via the BioPark's Facebook page.