<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Monday, January 19, 2015

More On Kari, Berry And The Cops, Plus: Focus On Santa Fe Starts Tomorrow With 60 Day Legislative Session 

Before the focus switches tomorrow to the 60 day legislative session that kicks-off in Santa Fe, we pause today to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As for La Politica. . .

Let's take a look at a fresh angle in that political brawl that broke out last week featuring ABQ Mayor RJ Berry and his Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry as they piled on Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.

It all started Tuesday night when ABQ had its latest officer involved fatal shooting and Brandenburg's office was barred from the scene. Berry and Perry claim that because Brandenburg has charged two police officers with murder in a 2014 police shooting and because APD has investigated her on bribery allegations, she has a conflict of interest and can no longer be involved with police shooting cases. It was a shocker and drew  Alligator comments. This one wonders if the city is opening up a can of worms:

The administration appears to be laying the groundwork to have a special prosecutor appointed for officer involved shootings. Police protesters have long been saying that there is a conflict of interest to allow the DA to determine if an officer should be charged. Now they can use the administration's argument to support their call for a special prosecutor. I would not be surprised if they call on the City Council for a policy change to resolve any and all conflicts. I would also not be surprised if they call for a special prosecutor to investigate previous shootings where people died. There is no statute of limitations on a murder charge.

But who would pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed for these special prosecutors and their staffs? Is the city willing to write the check since it is their employees--police officers--who are at issue? There will be a bill introduced in this session of the legislature to have officer involved shootings investigated by the state attorney general's office.

EARLY GRUMBLING

In Santa Fe, they haven't even had the opening day hugs and kisses and the grumbling has already started. We get this from the camp of Dem State Rep. Eliseo Alcon:

I will no longer be caucusing with House Democrats. Not once did the House Democratic Caucus look to it's core members for advice during the election. I take special offense because it seems that I am the only one with experience winning against Gov. Martinez. Until the current leadership can prove they won't lead us off a cliff, I won't follow. I will be meeting largely with rank and file union members and nonprofit groups for advice on legislation that is difficult to take a stance on.

Alcon recently sought the post of House Minority Leader. That job went to Santa Fe Dem Rep. Brian Egolf.

BILL WATCH

This is one of the more interesting bills we've seen as the Legislature prepares to meet tomorrow:

A lawmaker wants to make it mandatory for parents or guardians to receive court-ordered family services when abuse or neglect of a child is suspected. Rep. Kelly Fajardo, R-Belen, said: "By intervening and requiring parents in abuse cases to seek help, we are adding another layer of protection for our children while at the same time keeping the family together." Under the proposed legislation, it would be mandatory for families to receive services in abuse or neglect cases that require intervention but may not rise to the level of removing the child from the home. Those services could include drug or alcohol counseling, parenting courses or anger management classes.

And don't forget to urge your fellow R's to approve funding for that intervention, Kelly.

BILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE

You think you have trouble balancing your checkbook? Bet you didn't make a billion dollar mistake:

Public Service Company of New Mexico told state regulators that its cost estimates for replacing the coal power it generates near Farmington have climbed over $1 billion in the last year as the company corrected calculation errors, and it will have to pass those costs on to its ratepayers. . . 

We thought DC was the only place a billion bucks could disappear with hardly a trace.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.  

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign