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New Mexico Telegram » Courts

State refused evidence that refuted audit, heath provider says

State refused evidence that refuted audit, heath provider says

A state agency citing potential Medicaid fraud refused to consider documents that could have cleared a health care provider of allegations that it had overcharged the government by as much as $4.3 million, the organization’s officials said this week. After the New Mexico Human Services Department’s decision to not consider the documents, the health care provider, Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS), faced a difficult choice: settle with the state or fight and possibly run out of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured, Health

Estrada sentenced to nine months in prison in email hijacking case

Estrada sentenced to nine months in prison in email hijacking case

Former Susana Martinez campaign staffer Jamie Estrada received a sentence of nine months in an email hijacking case. Estrada will also have to pay a $10,000 fine and received 100 hours of community service. Estrada was sentenced on Wednesday after accepting a plea agreement and pleading guilty earlier this year. Estrada redirected emails to the Martinez campaign to an account he controlled after the campaign was unable to recall the password to the account to renew the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured

Rodella out as Rio Arriba County sheriff, Lujan in

Rodella out as Rio Arriba County sheriff, Lujan in

The Rio Arriba County Commission moved towards putting the Tommy Rodella controversy behind them by appointing a new sheriff. The move comes after Tommy Rodella, now the former sheriff of Rio Arriba County, was convicted of civil rights violations after a traffic stop earlier this year. Rodella was charged with two felony counts and awaits sentencing. The commission voted to appoint James Lujan as the new sheriff. Lujan defeated Rodella in the June primary for sheriff and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Española, Featured

Court of Appeals OKs roll back of green building codes

Court of Appeals OKs roll back of green building codes

The Associated Press reported that the state Court of Appeals said changes to building codes by the Construction Industries Commission are OK. The changes have been in the works since Susana Martinez first went into office. The energy efficient building codes were instituted by the Construction Industries Commission under Bill Richardson and were designed to require new buildings in New Mexico more efficient when it comes to using utilities. The Court of Appeals decision undoes a rejection … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Energy, Environment, Featured

Teachers union files suit over evaluations

Teachers union files suit over evaluations

A teachers union filed a lawsuit saying the portion of teacher evaluations tied to teacher tests are unconstitutional. The suit, brought by NEA New Mexico, seeks to stop the Public Education Department from putting the evaluations into effect, saying the state regulations are so onerous they don’t allow local superintendents to implement policies including the hiring and firing of teachers. The lawsuit says that the requirements usurp the ability of local school districts to implement personnel decisions, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Education, Featured

State Supreme Court rules advisory questions allowed on the ballot (update x4)

State Supreme Court rules advisory questions allowed on the ballot (update x4)

The New Mexico Supreme Court said that the Secretary of State must allow advisory questions on the ballot this November. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously from the bench on Friday afternoon that the Secretary of State cannot unilaterally remove questions from the county side of the ballot. Duran had tried to remove the advisory questions from the ballot in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties, saying they were not allowed by state election law. The state Supreme Court … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Elections, Featured

Fed judge: State Supreme Court gets to decide on advisory questions

Fed judge: State Supreme Court gets to decide on advisory questions

A federal judge told the Secretary of State that the question of whether or not advisory questions are allowed on the ballot is a state issue, clearing the New Mexico State Supreme Court to decide the issue. Judge Karen Molzen made the ruling late Thursday. The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear the issue tomorrow afternoon and likely make a decision. Secretary of State Dianna Duran has said that advisory questions, or questions that cannot result in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured

Brooks buyout approved by judge

Brooks buyout approved by judge

A state district court judge agreed to a buyout agreement for former Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent Winston Brooks on Friday. The approval is another step on the process to APS being rid of Brooks, who has had a controversial tenure as head of the state’s largest school district. The buyout comes as part of Brooks’ resignation. APS has already chosen an interim replacement for Brooks, Albuquerque city councilor Brad Winter. The school district successfully argued that the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Education, Featured

Udall’s new ad focuses on domestic violence prevention efforts

Udall’s new ad focuses on domestic violence prevention efforts

Tom Udall’s campaign announced a new ad today, focused on his efforts to prevent domestic violence. The ad features girls citing domestic violence statistics and finishes with Udall saying, “These are the reasons I worked to pass a tough anti-stalking law as Attorney General, and the Violence Against Women Act as New Mexico’s Senator.” “Since serving as Attorney General and now as U.S. Senator, Tom Udall has been working hard to do what’s right for women and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ad Watch, Courts, Featured, Senate

Judge rules against overturning state House primary result

Judge rules against overturning state House primary result

A District Court Judge decided against overturning the results of a close primary race in southern New Mexico. The District Court Judge, Jim Martin, made the decision on Friday afternoon. The ruling means Bealquin “Bill” Gomez defeated the incumbent Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces. Gomez beat Garcia in a very close three-way race in June’s primary. He won by just 16 votes. A third candidate finished with 52 votes, well behind Gomez and Garcia in the House … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Featured, New Mexico House