Hendry out at IATSE Local 480

Jon Hendry is out from his post with the union that represents film and television crews in New Mexico. Hendry resigned after a woman filed a lawsuit alleging he sexually harassed her. Another woman came forward and added her name to the lawsuit. A statement provided to media said it was a “voluntary resignation.”

He had already left his post as head of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, then on Sunday came news that he left his role in the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 480. That same day, dozens of union members attended the union’s monthly meeting, which was the first time the union met after the allegations became public.

Union leader accused of sexual harassment

The powerful head of a major labor group in New Mexico is accused of sexual harassment. Jon Hendry, the president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, faces a lawsuit alleging he  sexually harassed and employee and created a hostile and discriminatory workplace environment. Christa Valdes filed the lawsuit, accusing Hendry of grabbing employees by the buttocks, sending lewd text messages and showing naked photos on his phone. The suit also accuses IATSE Local 480, for which Hendry is the business agent, of covering up the allegations when they were brought to their attention. Valdes did public relations work for the union.

Lobbyists report spending nearly $237,000 during session

Lobbyists and their employers spent $236,828 on gifts, wining and dining for elected officials, their guests and staff during the 2016 legislative session. And that’s only a portion of what was spent during the 30-day session because it captures only those times lobbyists spent $500 or more on a single event. 

We’ll know more about how entertained lawmakers were during the 30-day session when lobbyists and employers make their full reports on May 1. If Gov. Susana Martinez signs House Bill 105, lobbyists will have to file reports again in October. Right now lobbyists file full reports only in January and May. Last year, during a session twice as long, lobbyists reported spending nearly $300,000 during the session.