Public defender’s office settles sexual harassment claims

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two lawsuits that accused an investigator in the state public defender’s office of sexual harassment have been settled.

The Law Offices of the Public Defender agreed to pay $345,000 to resolve the lawsuits filed in 2019. The Albuquerque Journal reports that neither the office nor the investigator who worked at the Las Cruces location admitted liability as part of the settlements.

An attorney for the plaintiffs says her clients are hopeful the culture in the public defender’s office will change and others will be spared from similar treatment, including retaliation for reporting harassment.