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Immigrant joke prompts reprimand by GOP candidate Martinez

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial nominee Susana Martinez, a district attorney in southern New Mexico, has disciplined one of her prosecutors for using a government computer to forward an e-mail that jokes about killing Mexicans and Arabs.

The e-mail, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press, describes a New Mexico girl shooting a Mexican and an Arab in a bar and then saying, "In New Mexico, we have so many illegal aliens we don't have to drink with the same ones twice." The e-mail ends with this line: "God bless New Mexico and that particular New Mexican girl."

The e-mail was sent about a week after Martinez won the GOP nomination for governor in a campaign in which immigration was a hot-button issue.

"Forwarding this e-mail violates the office policy of the 3rd Judicial District Attorney's Office and is clearly inappropriate and unacceptable. The employee has been reprimanded," Susan Riedel, chief deputy district attorney, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Riedel said she could not disclose more about the disciplinary action because it was a personnel matter.

Martinez was unaware of the e-mail or its content until an inquiry by the AP and took the disciplinary action after seeing a copy of the e-mail, according to Riedel.

Martinez, who has served as district attorney in Las Cruces for 13 years, is running for governor against Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the November general election.

Lisa Kuykendall, a lawyer in Martinez's 3rd Judicial District office, forwarded the e-mail on June 9 after receiving it from an employee in the Administrative Office of the District Attorneys, which provides computer support and other services for all district attorneys in the state.