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The DNA Lab standoff between Richardson and Martinez

By   /   December 28, 2010  /   No Comments

More tension between the outgoing Richardson administration and the incoming Martinez administration.

On Monday (Dec. 27), the state Supreme Court granted departing Department of Public Safety boss John Denko the authority to move the state’s DNA lab from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Denko says it will save the state $400,000 a year.

Susana Martinez released this statement upon hearing the news:

“It is politics at its worst to move the DNA lab to Santa Fe in the final hours of the current administration only to move it back to Albuquerque on Monday, which is exactly what will happen. Instead, we should be putting victims and justice first. The move is opposed by both Republicans and Democrats, along with victims’ advocates and law enforcement. I will not be bullied into doing anything that will jeopardize cases and justice for New Mexico victims.”

 

You can read more about the flap and see how KOB-TV covered the story Monday night here: http://ht.ly/1aD700

It seems like the reasonable thing for Denko to do is to make a strong recommendation to the Martinez people, pointing out why he thinks moving the lab is beneficial, and leave it at that.

To simply move the lab when the Richardson administration has just five days remaining in office seems high-handed and petty. If it’s such a great idea and will save the state money, the argument for moving the lab should be able to stand on its own merit, especially if you released the details of your case to the media.

Ah, but that’s not how things work around here.

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Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.

  • Simon

    Hopefully things will be run very differently in the near future. Hopefully the Hon. Susana Martinez will dismantle Richardson’s cronies and legal cartel that have held New Mexicans hostage for the last eight years. Hopefully she will end this routine destruction of victims who have tried to expose Richardson’s croni-ism and legal cartel and restore real justice, not “justice” (social darwinism) as interpreted by Richardson’s legal cartel.

  • Doug Johnston

    This issue is pure media crap. They are NOT moving the lab. They are moving a computer server and some files, all evidence will remain safe in Albuquerque.

    Someone in the Media should read the FBI’s statement released yesterday and again today and get the facts straight!

    But that would not be “fun”!!

  • Rob Nikolewski

    Doug —

    I don’t know how other media outlets have covered this story but as per the FBI’s statement (at http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/reponse_122910), this website has not said or implied that the move is “outside of standard protocol.” None of our posts have speculated whether the items moved jeopardize criminal evidence. Susana Martinez says it may, John Denko says it won’t. This is a political flap and that is how we’ve covered it.

    Rob Nikolewski

  • Ricardo rodgers Romero

    John denko is nothing but a political hack,flunky for pancho Richardson. Will Denko admit he crashed ( TWO state choppers when he was flying them for the state ??? Recently stated he was always concerned for Safety with state choppers ! Incidentaly he was head donkey in charge of the state police flying the choppers ,

  • Ricardo rodgers Romero

    Politics is right! Maybe SgtJohn sta —- Denko wanted to use the state jet to fly reports from the computer server back and forty betweenSanta Fe and Albuquerque, And hire him as the pilot ?? SAVE $400.000 ???? Sounds like Dumocrat logic for a political appointee now civil service ? to hang around and watch the server in Santa Fe. Good to see all or most of the thieves leaving the cookie jar .

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