Trump Nominates Santa Fe Lawyer, Court Reverses Ruling In Police Case

Nov 1, 2017

President Trump Nominates Santa Fe Lawyer For US AttorneyThe Associated Press

President Donald Trump has nominated a Santa Fe attorney to be the next U.S. Attorney for the state of New Mexico.

The White House announced Wednesday that Trump tapped John C. Anderson to serve as the federal government's top prosecutor in the state.

The 42-year-old Anderson served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in New Mexico from 2008 to 2013.

If confirmed, Anderson would succeed Damon Martinez, who was forced out by Trump earlier this year along with dozens of other federal prosecutors.

Anderson now works at the Denver-based law firm Holland and Hart.

Court Reverses Ruling In New Mexico Police Shooting CaseThe Associated Press

Following the guidance of the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal appeals court has sided with New Mexico State Police officers in the 2011 shooting death of a man despite concerns about excessive force.

The appellate court initially sided with the family of Samuel Pauly, finding that the officers were not protected by qualified immunity when they surrounded his northern New Mexico home.

The officers appealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the appellate court to take another look, prompting Tuesday's reversal.

At issue is the high bar established for filing lawsuits against police under similar circumstances. The high court has said that officers are immune from such lawsuits unless it's clear their actions violated established rights.

In Pauly's case, the lower courts failed to cite any similar case where an officer violated a person's rights against excessive force.

New Mexico Congressional Candidate Accused Of Stalking WomanThe Associated Press

A man running for New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District seat is accused of felony stalking.

Santa Fe police say 39-year-old David Alcon of Milan stalked a woman and sent her threatening messages last weekend.

Alcon is one of four Democrats running for the U.S. House seat now held by Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, who is running for governor.

Online court records don't list an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Alcon is the son of Democratic state Rep. Eliseo Alcon of Milan. A woman who answered The Associated Press' call to a phone listed in the father's name said the son was unavailable to comment.

The woman didn't give her name and stopped talking after a reporter asked about leaving message asking David Alcon to call back.

City Questioning APD Reform Monitor’s Neutrality – Albuquerque Journal

The city of Albuquerque filed a motion Tuesday seeking an evidentiary hearing on whether the independent monitor overseeing reform in the police department is unbiased.

The Albuquerque Journal reports city officials cited one of James Ginger’s staff members who said Ginger has an “ax to grind.” The motion also states that Ginger warned the Albuquerque Police Department of collateral damage in the reform process.

A 2014 investigation by the Department of Justice found a pattern of excessive force by APD officers. Ginger is overseeing the agreement between DOJ and the city and reports on reform progress to a federal judge.

Ginger has been critical of the process so far. He could not be reached for comment, but under the DOJ agreement he is prohibited from making public comments about the reform efforts.

Joanne Fine, a member of the Police Oversight Board, said she sees the city’s motion as more evidence that officials are resistant to reform. City Attorney Jessica Hernandez said the city is still committed to working with Ginger.

Tribe Nixes Plan To Build Tram In Grand CanyonAssociated Press

Members of the Navajo Nation Tribal Council voted down legislation to build an aerial tram to take paying visitors to a riverside boardwalk in the Grand Canyon.

The council voted 16-2 against the bill during a special session Tuesday in Window Rock, Arizona. It was the first time the full council had taken up the measure since it was introduced last year.

Some tribal delegates raised concerns about the development resulting in more public safety demands, while others questioned a $65 million investment that would be required by the tribe for roads, water, power lines and communications infrastructure.

Critics showed up to urge lawmakers to oppose the project. They have said the area is sacred and that the proposed development would mar the landscape.

Study Finds New Mexico Not Prepared For Another RecessionSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A study says that the New Mexico is not prepared to withstand another recession, should it come, given its depleted financial reserves.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a "stress test" by Moody's Analytics that looked at New Mexico's current state of finances was published earlier this month.

According to the analysis, the state needs to have 10 percent of its budget in reserve in order to make through a moderate recession without resorting to many significant tax hikes or cutting back services.

The study also determined the state would need 17.1 percent in reserves to stay afloat in a severe recession.

State officials say New Mexico is set to finish 2017 with 5.5 percent of its budget in reserves and have 3.4 percent by the end of June 2018.

Route 66 Hotel Project Aims For December OpeningAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Developers of an $18 million project along historic Route 66 say they are aiming for a December opening of the revamped property.

The face-lift of the storied El Vado motor lodge in Albuquerque includes a boutique hotel, a new mixed-use building next door and an events center.

The lobby of the hotel will have a taproom that will feature local brews, and General Manager Carrie Confair is lining up different businesses to operate food trucks at the site.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that plans to redevelop El Vado have been in the works for years.

The original motel opened in 1937. It's among the sites highlighted by the National Park Service as a historically significant example of the automobile tourism that sprouted up along Route 66.

Defense Attorney Says Ex-Lawmaker Not To BlameAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A defense attorney for former New Mexico state Sen. Phil Griego says testimony and evidence will show the politician did not use his elected office to profit from the sale of a state-owned building.

Defense attorney Thomas Clark on Tuesday delivered his opening statement at the start of a corruption trial against Griego in state district court.

Clark contends that Griego never voted as a lawmaker to clear the sale and was not promised a commission until the Legislature adjourned in 2014. He said evidence will show that a state agency wanted the sale to go forward, and that Griego's involvement was common knowledge in the highest levels of state government.

Griego has pleaded not guilty to charges including fraud, bribery, perjury and unlawful interest in a public contract.

New Mexico Leads Way On Paper BallotsSanta Fe New Mexican

Despite a shift to electronic voting in recent years, New Mexico has continued to rely on paper ballots and now more states are moving to that practice.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports government officials say retaining paper ballots has made New Mexico less vulnerable to hacking such as the attacks by Russian hackers on 21 states’ voting systems last year.

All of the state’s counties use paper ballots following a law passed by the Legislature in 2006 requiring the ballots be held. Electronic scanners count the ballots and the actual paper forms are stored for about two years.

More states are returning to a paper ballot system. However, experts warn there are still many ways to interfere with elections, even with a paper trail.

European Company Sues New Mexico Brewery Over Route 66 Beer - By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

A New Mexico brewery is facing a U.S. federal lawsuit from a European company over the use of Route 66 in its name.

The Cyprus-based Lodestar Anstalt wants the Route 66 Junkyard Brewery in Grants, New Mexico, to change its name because the European company owns the U.S. Route 66 trademark for all beers.

Henry Lackey says his brewery is on Route 66 and doesn't believe a European company should have a say how the iconic American highway is used.

But Lodestar's attorney Warren Bleeker says the company filed the proper trademark requirements.

The company is seeking damages and the brewery's profits.

Decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985, Route 66 went through eight states, connecting tourists from Chicago to Los Angeles.