Challenging Gov. Susana Martinez’ authority may be the legal quagmire du jour, but the rumblings within the ranks of New Mexico’s state government aren’t any less loud—or, for that matter, any less common.
To the casual observer, Lloyd Swartz looks like every other middle-aged guy hosting a yard sale on a Saturday afternoon in May. From the driveway of his modest adobe house, but Swartz carries the stigma of a sex offender crime.
At first blush, it sounds like the epitome of a frivolous lawsuit: A Santa Fe man sues Whole Foods Market, alleging he was hurt by flying boxes of mandarin oranges. But the allegations in this case, scheduled to go to trial next week, are more serious.
Passions ran high in Santa Fe in the aftermath of the acquittal of Scott Owens, the drunk driver who had been charged with causing the deaths of four teenagers in a horrific collision nearly two years ago.
To family members and friends of the four teens killed in a 2009 DUI accident, it must have seemed incongruous to listen to hours of testimony about physics principles and car steering components, given the basic facts of the case: Defendant Scott Owens was driving extremely drunk, and four sober teen passengers were killed instantly.