More than two years after being filed in federal court, a lawsuit over leaked emails from Gov. Susana Martinez’s 2010 campaign account was dismissed with prejudice Monday. Attorneys on both sides filed the motion to dismiss, which likely puts the issue to rest. “It’s dismissed with prejudice,” Bruce Wetherbee, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, told NM Political Report. “End of story.”
Dismissed with prejudice means that the lawsuit cannot be re-filed in court. Wetherbee worked with Independent Source PAC when the liberal political action committee publicly released some leaked emails from Martinez administration staffers and allies in 2012.
A federal magistrate judge Monday rejected a motion to protect hundreds of leaked emails from top staffers in the governor’s office from a high profile case among other measures. Plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit involving leaked emails from the 2010 campaign account of Gov. Susana Martinez will now also be able to conduct discovery on the defendants. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephan Vidmar limited the discovery to just a handful of issues: what emails were intercepted, who intercepted the emails, who publicly disclosed the intercepted emails and why they publicly disclosed them. The judge made rulings against motions by both sides. The developments mark the latest fallout in one of the longest ongoing scandals in Martinez’s governorship.
Three defendants in a federal lawsuit are fighting back in the latest development of an ongoing scandal involving leaked emails from the campaign account of Gov. Susana Martinez. In answers filed earlier this month, state Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman and private investigator Michael Corwin, who ran the Martinez-critical Independent Source PAC, deny that they illegally “hijacked” emails from the governor’s campaign account. Jamie Estrada, who briefly served as Martinez’ campaign manager in 2009 and is now serving time in federal prison after admitting to intercepting campaign emails in a plea deal last year, also filed an answer denying that he caused damages to the plaintiffs. The controversy dates back to the summer of 2012, when emails from the governor’s campaign account began leaking to the media. Scores of leaked emails showed top lobbyists communicating with governor’s office staffers about a controversial Albuquerque racino deal before the decision, among other things.