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Martinez hits ground running

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Martinez blocks plan to move state DNA center to Santa Fe

By Associated Press

SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez used her first work day to reverse a decision by her Democratic predecessor and to propose expanding state law to require DNA samples from those arrested for any felony.
The Republican governor, who took office after taking the oath of office on the Plaza in Santa Fe on Saturday, followed through on a promise to stop a plan by former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration to move a state DNA center to Santa Fe from Albuquerque.
Some computer equipment was moved last week, but Martinez on Monday directed that be returned.
She described the move as “politics at its worst” and said “it doesn’t make sense from a public safety standpoint.”
The Richardson administration contended that it could save money having DNA samples processed by the state’s crime lab in Santa Fe.
But that was disputed by Albuquerque Public Safety Director Darren White, who joined Martinez at the news conference at the city’s police crime lab.
New Mexico has been paying the Albuquerque Police Department about $400,000 a year to process offenders’ DNA samples and upload the information to a national database. However, the samples are sent to an independent lab for testing.


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