Governor responds to misconduct allegations against NMSP chief | KOB 4
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Governor responds to misconduct allegations against NMSP chief

Marian Camacho
June 16, 2018 11:32 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Governor Susana Martinez’s office is firing back at allegations against her and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas. A lawsuit accuses Chief Kassetas of lewd conduct and discrimination. It also alleges that the governor covered for him.

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The Governor’s office says the state has not yet been served by the lawsuit. Attorneys sent it to KOB Eyewitness News 4 Thursday. It accuses Kassetas of “blatant, ongoing and systemic discrimination” plaintiffs say was “based on gender and sexual orientation.”

A former lieutenant claims she retired due to a “hostile work environment” after she was removed from her job as head of the governor’s security detail. She says she was removed because of her gender and sexual orientation.

A sergeant claims she was wrongfully denied eight promotions because of her gender and because she would speak up about problems in the department.

A former deputy says he took a lower-paying job after Kassetas made his life a “living hell.”

The suit also claims Kassetas mooned employees, objectified female officers and allowed homophobic behavior. In the suit, one of the plaintiffs admits she called officers a homophobic slur after they made fun of her height. She claims she was disciplined, but other officers who made offensive comments weren’t.

New Mexico State Police says it has not received the lawsuit, but it generally does not comment on pending litigation.

The Governor’s Office released a statement saying:

“The state has not been served with any lawsuit, but in quickly reviewing the document we’ve received, it contains many ridiculous allegations that are completely removed from the truth. The claim that the Governor wrote a $20,000 check to Ruben Maynes for his gambling debts is not true, the Governor never received any payment at any time from Maynes, and the Maynes relatives who worked for the state were hired long before 2014 - which was publicly reported years ago. Finally, there were never any allegations of sexual harassment involving the campaign bus, much less any settlement — this appears to be invented out of whole cloth. It’s sad and disappointing that these individuals are willing to throw so many outlandish claims against the wall in order to create a wild-eyed conspiracy theory to settle scores with the State Police Chief. We take seriously all allegations of misconduct — including those against the State Police Chief —  and they are thoroughly investigated and handled appropriately.  The state has not been served with any lawsuit, but in quickly reviewing the document we’ve received, it contains many ridiculous allegations that are completely removed from the truth. The claim that the Governor wrote a $20,000 check to Ruben Maynes for his gambling debts is not true, the Governor never received any payment at any time from Maynes, and the Maynes relatives who worked for the state were hired long before 2014 - which was publicly reported years ago. Finally, there were never any allegations of sexual harassment involving the campaign bus, much less any settlement — this appears to be invented out of whole cloth. It’s sad and disappointing that these individuals are willing to throw so many outlandish claims against the wall in order to create a wild-eyed conspiracy theory to settle scores with the State Police Chief. We take seriously all allegations of misconduct — including those against the State Police Chief —  and they are thoroughly investigated and handled appropriately.”

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Marian Camacho

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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