Friday, December 18, 2009

Speaker Urged Lundstrom to Drop Fight Charges

House Speaker Ben Lujan said Friday that he encouraged a state legislator who reported to police that another legislator had attacked her in the Capitol to withdraw her complaint.

Lujan was referring to the Dec. 4 incident in which Rep. Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup, said that Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Crownpoint, confronted her after leaving a committee meeting, called her some “pretty rough names,” then punched her in the arm three times to make her point. Lundstrom reported the incident to state police but decided not to pursue criminal charges.

Jeff has denied Lundstrom’s account but hasn’t offered her own version of the incident.

The Speaker was upset at a media account that Jeff’s lawyer “painted the representative’s request to withdraw the complaint as evidence of insincerity.”

Lujan said, “I asked her to do this, so I could arrange to meet with both members together in an effort to resolve the dispute amicably in the interests of their constituencies and the institution.”