March 24, 2016

Odds and Ends: What judge will hear Phil Griego case?

Joe Gratz


—Who’s going to take the Griego case?

Judges are recusing themselves from the pending Phil Griego case left and right.

Dan Boyd over at the Albuquerque Journal wrote earlier this week that four judges recused themselves from the case. That’s already outdated: A fifth judge also recused himself.

The ball is now in the court of Judge Raymond Ortiz; a KOB reporter called Ortiz’s office and they said Ortiz isn’t sure if he’ll take the case.

In case you’re wondering, there are nine judges in the district.

—Cruces pays $3 million for rape by officer

The city of Las Cruces paid out $3 million after then-Officer Michael Garcia raped a police department intern in the officer’s police car.

The Associated Press has more context:

In a yearlong investigation of sexual misconduct by U.S. law enforcement, the AP uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault; sex crimes that included possession of child pornography; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens or having consensual but prohibited on-duty intercourse.

The number is unquestionably an undercount because it represents only those officers whose licenses to work in law enforcement were revoked, and not all states take such action.

—The governor isn’t big on emails.

The Associated Press asked for all the emails to and from Susana Martinez for the week of February 1-7. The governor released three emails and withheld three others; the AP also asked for text messages, but there were none.

And the governor wouldn’t even release her email address:

Chris Sanchez, a spokesman for the governor, explained that Martinez “generally prefers to hold in-person meetings and have phone conversations with staff and cabinet secretaries.”

Asked whether Martinez conducts government business on private or non-government email accounts or servers, Sanchez responded that “the governor uses her state email address for government business.” He declined to comment further.

The AP asked for the governor’s email address and received no reply or explanation. The governor’s website includes a form for submitting comments with a phone number for constituent services.

The governor’s office delayed the response because they were reviewing legislation. There is no exemption in IPRA for a public office being too busy to comply with the open records law.