SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former state employee accused of punching a subordinate and keeping her from contacting his supervisor during the confrontation has been sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday that a battery charge against former state Human Service Department supervisor Donald Ortega was dropped in exchange for a no contest plea to a charge of interfering with communications.

Under a no contest plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt but also doesn't dispute the charges.

Ursula Montano accused Ortega of punching her and preventing her from reporting the incident to his supervisor.

Montano's lawyer Linda Hemphill says the deal was made without Montano's knowledge.

Santa Fe Police Department spokesman Greg Gurule says the deal had to be made quickly so the case wouldn't be dismissed.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com