Monday, March 06, 2006

Woman In Jewell Case Speaks: "I Loved Him," She Declares; Condemns Secrecy As Jewell Bows Out, Plus: Odd Twist: She Was Student In Guv's UNM Class 

Summers & Guv at UNM
Word came late Sunday that Tommy Jewell has declined the Governor's appointment to become the head of the NM Children, Youth and Families Department. Outgoing Secretary Mary Dale Bolson will remain on the job until a replacement is named. The news came as new twists developed in the controversy surrounding the retired ABQ District Court judge. The woman who filed a 1999 domestic violence complaint against Jewell, Karen Summers, contacted this blog to rebut charges leveled here Friday by an attorney friend of Jewell. That attorney claimed Summers was "pissed off" and trying to embarrass Jewell. And in another twist, Summers says she was a student in Governor Richardson's University of New Mexico government class last year and served as a Governor's intern at the Human Services Department last summer. She said the Governor was not aware of her past involvement with Jewell at the time.

And in yet another ironic twist, Summers told me her daughter is a student at New Mexico State University and was enrolled in Big Bill's government class at that campus.

"I would like to tell the Governor my side of the story. My main concern is the secrecy in this case. I did not file my complaint because I was "pissed off" or trying to embarrass Tommy or his wife." Said Summers. (Jewell's wife, District Court Judge Angela Jewell, handles domestic violence cases.)

"I had a genuine (domestic violence) complaint. I had a long term (8 years) relationship with Tommy. I was in love. I loved him." She declared softly.

Summers, now in hear early 50's, said her complaint resulted from a quarrel about ending the relationship.

Last week Jewell denied any violent behavior, telling the Santa Fe New Mexican: "I have not been violent in my life." He also pointed out that he was never charged with a crime in connection with the complaint.

The Summers complaint ended up being filed in Sandoval county even though the alleged incident took place in Bernalillo county. "I filed my complaint in Bernalillo county, but immediately (ex-Chief District Court Judge) John Brennan had the case moved to Sandoval county and to Judge Louis McDonald. Then it was sealed. That was wrong and several of the other judges questioned the action," she said.

At the time McDonald justified the sealing of the case by saying: "The file does not contain any information which would serve any purpose other than to gratify private spite and promote public scandal." His version on why he got the case has yet to be heard. Perhaps it was because it was thought there would be a conflict of interest for a Bernalillo county judge to hear the case of a fellow judge. But Summers sees darker motives.


Summers' complaint was settled with both parties agreeing to the secrecy agreement. Judge Brennan resigned from the bench in 2004 after being arrested on cocaine possession and drunk driving charges.

Summers claims she was intimidated into signing the 99' agreement and that the case was moved to Sandoval county because she knew of Brennan's cocaine use and he wanted the complaint quashed. "Those around the courthouse knew about his cocaine use. It was common knowledge," contended Summers.

She also said she believed the case was sent to Sandoval county in the hope that she would not pursue it. "But I did. I hopped in my little car and made the drive out there. I don't think they expected that."

Summers, a single mother of five children ranging in age from 32 to 19, also cleared up the mystery over the title of the complaint which said: "Domestic violence w/ children."

"There was no violence with regards to the children. They were present at the time and suffered emotional trauma, but there was no physical abuse." she said.

Summers worked as a paralegal for the city of Albuquerque. She said she lost her job as a result of "blacklisting" but later filed suit and settled with the city over the dismissal.

Later she enrolled at the University of New Mexico, majoring in psychology. She also applied for and was accepted in Governor Richardson's government class. That, she said, led to her appointment as a Governor's intern last year in the Human Services Department.

Jewell & Summers
Despite the sour ending to her relationship with the former Children's Court judge, Summers said she was not urging the Governor to reject Jewell as CYFD cabinet secretary. She says she has been blacklisted by Jewell's friends in the legal community and fears her plans to attend UNM Law School could be jeopardized by them so she is going public.

"Tommy Jewell himself has not done any of this (the alleged blacklisting) to me or my children and I believe he truly does have the best interests of the children of the state at heart. Unfortunately, he is surrounded by some seriously dysfunctional people that feel the need to do things like making that false statement to you about me and the case." Summers explained.

Jewell, 51, has refused to talk about his relationship with Summers or the domestic violence case, citing the secrecy agreement. The incident, despite being reported in the newspaper, never came up in the vetting of the Jewell appointment. In his New Mexican interview Jewell reports a hurried and somewhat chaotic background check.

Obviously, if Jewell had detailed the incident, or if it had been discovered through a complete vetting, the story might be different. The issue is particularly sensitive because of New Mexico's horrific rate of domestic violence cases and because CYFD is the lead agency charged with solving the problem.

And so ends a tale that now enters the never ending book of La Politica; a tale that may serve to remind those who seek the power and glory that secrecy is not their friend.

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