Judge: Commission’s performance evaluations impact retention

November 9, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An outgoing judge in New Mexico says a state-funded commission’s unfavorable evaluation of his performance had a direct impact on voters’ decision to oust him.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Chief Judge Edward Benavidez failed to garner the 57 percent of votes required to stay on the bench.

Benavidez says the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission “meddled in, interfered with and absolutely affected” his retention election.

He says he thinks it’s inappropriate for a government agency to tell people how to vote and questioned why elected officials working in other branches of government aren’t subjected to similar evaluations.

Of the four judges who received “do not retain” recommendations this year, Benavidez and Kenny Montoya failed to garner the required votes to stay on the bench, while Linda Rogers and Michelle Castillo Dowler kept their jobs by slim margins.

Commission spokeswoman Patti Watson could not comment on election outcomes, but says voters have followed the commission’s recommendations fairly frequently in the past.

Montoya did not respond to a request for comment.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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