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.”
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.