By Tracy Dingmann
It took almost three weeks, but the Journal finally weighed in with a news story (subscription required) on the allegations made against Mayor Martin Chavez in a deposition taken in connection with a federal suit filed last spring by city aviation contractor John Bode.
In an Aug. 10 copyrighted story by City Hall beat reporter Dan McKay called “Shakedown Claims May Affect Campaign,” the Journal outlines the allegations that the mayor and members of his staff sought free or discounted air service and that the mayor retaliated against Bode by refusing to renew his contract after he refused to provide it.
The Journal’s story followed a July 24 piece in the online New Mexico Independent that broke the details in the 391-page deposition regarding Bode’s claims against the mayor and his administration. The deposition was not made public in connection with the lawsuit and NMI did not say how they obtained a copy.
Unlike the NMI piece, the headline and content in the Journal story frames the dispute as an issue in the upcoming mayoral election. The Journal says they obtained a copy of the lawsuit through an Inspection of Public Records request filed at City Hall.
I wrote about the Journal’s lack of coverage of this story back on July 30, when I noted that Bode’s suit is a big case with serious implications about the city’s governance that I think is important to readers of the city’s only daily.
I’m glad to see the story finally made it to the Journal’s front page.