Wednesday, February 23,2011Features
How many pot plants does it take to justify a war on drugs?
Federally-funded and state-supported drug task forces are running rampant in New Mexico. SFR reveals the results of two months of investigation into why armed, masked men in fatigues are landing in helicopters and routinely invading a normally peaceful town.
Wednesday, February 23,2011Interviews
With Jennifer Muñoz
Jennifer Muñoz has been with the Santa Fe Police Department for 71/2 years. In November, the lifelong Santa Fean left her position as administrative secretary for detective investigations for a newly created one: SFPD anti-graffiti coordinator.
Wednesday, February 16,2011Local News
Music store leaves a trail of civil suits
Santa Fe Music and Piano made its exit from the local music scene last month amid the latest in a long series of discordant notes.
Wednesday, February 16,2011Local News
Whistleblower battles state for records
Two years ago, Bob Ortiz was a deputy director in the New Mexico Department of Health’s Grants Management Bureau. He had experience managing millions of dollars and was hired to help fix a $1.7 million accounting glitch for DOH. Today, Ortiz is paid $96,400 a year to do—well, not much.
Wednesday, February 9,2011Features
Proposed laws from Republicans would have dire consequences for women’s health
Republicans sure have interesting priorities. Even though they got elected on a fiscal agenda and arrived in legislatures and Congress with a budget crisis and a nation staring down unemployment, they’ve decided to put policing women’s bodies on the top of their agenda.
Wednesday, February 9,2011Local News
Indicators: Feb. 9
On Feb. 3, a throng of New Mexico lawmakers gathered in the center of the state capitol to oppose an executive order signed by Gov. Susana Martinez four days earlier.
Wednesday, February 2,2011Local News
New Mexico faces coming fight over DNA collection
The case for expanding “Katie’s Law,” the New Mexico law that requires DNA collection for certain felony arrests, is powerful. In 2003, Jayann Sepich’s 22-year-old daughter, Katie, died after a brutal rape and murder.
Wednesday, January 26,2011Features
Drug Court has helped hundreds escape from lives of drugs and crime—but does the program itself have a future?
Despite the notorious drug problem in Santa Fe County, the successful Drug Court faces an uncertain future. With the paucity of funding available to sustain it in the current economic climate, Drug Court’s future is now seriously threatened.
Wednesday, January 26,2011Local News
The 1st Judicial District Court’s Public Defender Department has raised concerns about a bill introduced in the state Legislature last week that would make it a felony for the family member of an abused child to fail to report the abuse.
Former sheriff says DA didn't follow usual procedure
by Wren Abbot
Embattled former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano tells SFR that special prosecutor Matt Chandler is taking special measures in his case to make a bigger spectacle of it.Solano was arrested at 2 p.m. yesterday and released from Santa Fe County Detention Center three hours later, after posting $25,000 bail. Solano says defendants in embezzlement cases are typically served with a criminal summons, rather than arrested on a warrant."If you look around in Santa Fe on embezzlement cases you will not find warrants," Solano says. "In fact, talk to officers, ask them how hard it is to get a warrant for burglars, for people who are committing crimes where there's much more violence. The DA's office won't even approve them for most things like that."Assistant District Attorney Thomas Dow, who has prosecuted white collar crimes, says whether or not an arrest warrant is issued depends on the facts of the particular case."There are so many different factors that go into that that it's hard to say there's just one procedure," Dow says. "I've been aware of people who've been arrested and then the charges get dismissed and we do an indictment, sometimes there's an arrest warrant, sometimes there's a summons after the grand jury...in general I can say it would be the nature of the charges and evidence and the factors that are set out in the rules on conditions of release. Each case has to be evaluated on its facts."Dow said whether or not the individual is a flight risk is one factor that would be taken into consideration. According to the state statute Dow is referring to, other considerations include whether the charges the individual faces are violent or involve narcotics, the weight of evidence against him or her, the person's ties to the community, his or her criminal history and history with drugs and alcohol, and whether he or she poses a danger to the community.Chandler has not returned a call for comment this morning. In his presentation yesterday to local print and TV media, Chandler said he followed the procedure typical of his jurisdiction, the 9th Judicial District."In the jurisdiction in which I practice it's custom to serve arrest warrants on individuals that break the law," Chandler said. "Mr. Solano will not be treated any differently than any other citizen that has allegedly broke the law in New Mexico...a summons was not an option."Solano says Chandler, who unsuccessfully ran for Attorney General last year, is making political hay out of his case."I think he's trying to make a career off my case," Solano says. "And I don't think that's fair....I think he wanted to make a statement of, 'Oh, I put a sheriff in jail.'"At the press conference Chandler arranged to follow Solano's arrest yesterday, he made this statement about the larger significance of Solano's arrest:"We do not take enjoyment in today's arrest, but if law enforcement officers are not held accountable just as any other citizen in New Mexico, then the laws of our state mean nothing."Solano also was adamant that the money he is alleged to have gotten by selling county property did not go to feed a gambling habit."That money was not used for gambling," he says.
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