SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a decision by former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration to fire a prison guard arrested for drunken driving, but the court’s longest serving member describes the outcome as “unjust” although legally correct.
In an unusual display of personal views in a court ruling, Justice Patricio Serna wrote, “I cannot remain silent about something that matters and seems unfair to me.”
A state Corrections Department policy, adopted in 2005 during the Richardson administration but still in place, calls for workers to submit written reports if they are arrested or convicted of drunken driving. They lose their jobs after a second offense and are suspended for at least five days for a first offense.
Rudy Sais, a guard at a prison in Los Lunas, lost his job in 2008 although his DWI charges were dismissed — after his first arrest in 2006 as well as his second arrest in March 2008.
During an administrative hearing to appeal his firing, Sais offered evidence of other workers who weren’t Login to read more