The Santa Fe Reporter from Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 6, 1996 · Page 53
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The Santa Fe Reporter from Santa Fe, New Mexico · Page 53

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 6, 1996
Page 53
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OUT TAKES WHISTLE-BLOWER FIRED A nurse who reported the theft of narcotics from the medical unit at the Santa Fe County Detention Center in 1994 is suing for wrongful termination in federal district court. Marcia Martinez was put on leave, then fired after she reported irregularities in the facility's medical logs. Jail inmates were not receiving drugs prescribed to them, she alleges. Martinez also reported that the jail's chief nurse was hiding hundreds of syringes which, she feared, could be used to inject contraband drugs. Martinez says she was warned to keep quiet. Martinez is suing Corrections Corporation of America, the for-profit Tennessee-based company that operates the Santa Fe Country Detention Center, as well as the New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility at Grants and the Tor- ranee County Detention Center. Martinez is making two claims. She says she was wrongfully terminated/and that retaliation prevented her from enjoying protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution. She is asking for reinstatement, backpay, benefits and damages. CCA, which has contracts to operate 46 jails or prisons in 11 states, Puerto Rico and the U.K., declined to comment on the case. Most of its litigation, according to a company spokesperson, is filed by inmates rather than whistle-blowers. The company manages between 18,000 and 20,000 prisoners daily and litigation is common. But the spokesperson said CCA has never had to make a claim against its $15 million in commercial general liability insurance, —AC. GAS PAINS Gov. Gary Johnson plans to call a special session of the Legislature beginning March 20. He wants to close a gasoline tax loophole that he said Tuesday has "zero" to do with gasoline dis- tributors and everything to do with the 17-cent tax "that goes into the roads that I drive." The distributors "will sell to the Indians" and would not be hurt by what Johnson sees as a fatal loophole in state law that could cost the state more than $300 million in money for road building and repair. While Indian gas stations will be part of the call for a special session, Indian gambling will not. Johnson has said in the past that a special session on gambling will not be called until there is some consensus on the issue. Other possible issues for the special session include: as much as appropriating $ 15 million more for Medicaid for the next budget year, appropriating $2.2 million for juvenile justice construction left out during the regular session by a clerical error, sorting out millions of dollars in money transfers Johnson opposes, and appropriating $1 million for Rio Rancho schools somehow left out during the regular session. Recent days have been filled with acrimonious debate as Johnson works his way through regular session bills and he and legislators accuse each other of doing a poor job during the regular legislative session. — W.H. THE VOICE After his replacement is sworn in, City Councilor Steven Farber will roll his high-backed chair away from the council bench and step aside for a new era in city government. Farber, who decided not to run for a second four-year term because of the cost of the first on his personal and professional life, said Tuesday he expects the shift in power that occurred when he was elected to shift back to more conservative ways. Although disappointed by the shift, STEVEN FARBER PHOTO BY CUV AMBROSfNQ which Farber said was influenced by reactions to personalities instead of-accomplishments, Farber walks away feeling that he brought order, integrity and advocacy to the council. "I am proudest of bringing ah independent and principled, progressive philosophy to the city council," Farber said. "It's just incredibly gratifying to walk down the street and have people tell me how much they appreciate what I've done and wish that they could vote for me. It's rewarding." He is walking away, but he is not going into hiding. He will continue to be an advocate for controversial clients in court and for causes that capture his heart. "I've never been quiet," he said. —K.B. Continued on Page 10 CONTACT juyAmbrosino s DCeiv iRestaurani THE GRILL Our Tiramisu has been pronounced the best in town by several local press reviews. Our Chocolate Mousse has attracted a similar public consent. A number of our customers believe our food Is the best in town. Many believe at least one of our dishes is the best they've ever had. We invite you to come and see why this week's special: Spaghetti alia Vbngole (clams) the best we've ever tasted! Executive Chef Fabio, Chef Eliazar, Kitchen Mgr. Roberto, Cook Armando, and Sou Chef Jose "The food was awesome!" — Bob &. Denise Sherman "The best chocolate mousse I ever tasted!" — Judith Klausner "The restaurant is fabulous, but most importantly, the food is exquisite. What a beautiful menu!!" — Bonny Tobias & Zoe Gail Lunch Mon.-Sat. J1:30-2:30 Dinner Mon.-Sun. 5:30 on Reservations Appreciated Non-smoking Environment 329 West San Francisco at Cuadualupe Santa Fe • 984-3080 •ANT* ri «•»•»¥•• March 6-12, 1996 I

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