Stepan’s husband discusses probe

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With assistant on leave and administrator in D.C., police chief is in charge

By Carol A. Clark

As the investigation into allegations lodged against Los Alamos County Administrator Tony Mortillaro by Assistant County Administrator Diana Stepan enters its second week, Stepan’s husband is speaking out about how his wife is holding up. She has been on paid administrative leave since an independent investigation of her allegations was launched Sept. 13.
“Since this matter has become public, Diana has received much support, via telephone, e-mail and mail from individuals around the community and at the county, for which I know she is very grateful,” Tom Stepan said. “Although I am familiar with the matter at hand, I choose to respect the investigative process and not discuss details. At this point in time, I have put my faith and trust in the investigative process, which is currently underway. I assure you that Diana is on the right side of this matter, as many already know. If the investigation is independent and thorough, the ‘report made public’ as stated by the county council chair, and if in fact ‘all levels of county government must meet the highest standards of conduct’ as was also recently stated by the council chair, then I sincerely believe that council will unanimously and appropriately resolve this matter.”
County Attorney Randy Autio said this morning that he hopes the investigation can be completed within a month from its inception, which would be the second week of October.
“We want everybody to understand that even though this investigation is difficult while it is going on, and people will speculate, we will continue county business and wait for the final report,” Autio said.
Mortillaro was on a flight to Washington, D.C. this morning for a legislative meeting with New Mexico’s congressional delegation.
Council Chair Mike Wismer and Vice Chair Sharon Stover are attending the same meeting.
“It’s inappropriate to comment about the situation until the investigation is completed and we have had a chance to review the report,” Wismer said.
Stepan’s husband wanted to speak out with regard to his wife’s position.
“I hope Diana can forgive me for stepping forward to make these comments without first seeking her approval,” he said. “My comments here are made much more as a taxpayer in this community than as a husband; however, as both a taxpayer and a husband, I am extremely proud of the action Diana has taken in this matter, and I can only hope that the community and council will ultimately feel the same. For those of us who know her, Diana is a real and genuine public servant, with Los Alamos County’s best interest in mind. If we had more individuals like her at all levels of county government, this matter would never have erupted.”
Mortillaro returns from Washington Friday and has left Police Chief Wayne Torpy in charge of the county. Normally the assistant administrator would temporarily move into that position but she is on paid administrative leave.
“According to the county charter, when the county administrator is away somebody’s got to be in charge, so if God forbid there’s an emergency, then there is someone in place to work with the county council to respond,” Torpy said. “When I go out of town, I leave my deputy chief or captain in charge.”