During a 10 p.m. Channel 13 newscast on Monday, Nov. 29, reporter Jessica Jarate introduced Taos County Deputy Sheriff Lori Garcia as "a former detective."
said, "I was investigating a narcotics case….We were doing undercover surveillance. [Lt.
Martinez took Garcia
back "after she yelled at him several times."
Garcia at the TownBefore going to work for the Taos County Sheriff on Jan. 13, 2003, Lori Garcia worked for the Town of Taos Police Department where, after being reprimanded in 2002, she filed sexual harassment charges against a lieutenant for coming on to her.He
spent two and a half weeks on administrative leave before being exonerated of her
charges, according to sources.
In early March 2002, according to sources, a school bus driver corrected Lori's daughter for her
behavior on the bus.Lori
responded by advising the school of her
intent to sue for "sexual misconduct" because the driver "committed conduct which was of a sexual nature which was criminal and that criminal charges were to be filed."
On March 12, Lori
informed school officials the bus driver "had an FBI
record with convictions for sexual offenses."The school immediately put the driver on suspension until his
name was cleared a week later.The bus driver sued Lori
and the Town of Taos for slander and punitive damages.Lori went to work for the Sheriff's Department and didn't bother showing up for the settlement hearing.
The Town of Taos paid an undisclosed amount of money to the aggrieved bus driver.
Garcia at the Sheriff's DepartmentOn Jan. 13, 2003, Taos County hired Lori Garcia as a deputy sheriff.In June 2003, Sheriff Martinez transferred a pregnant Lori from patrol to a desk job in order to reduce her exposure to danger.
...In late spring of 2003, Garcia introduced herself to a law enforcement seminar as "Detective Lori Garcia."
The department does not have a "detective" position.
In November 2003, the self-titled investigator, Garcia
, asked Eddie Martinez to help her with local surveillance regarding illegal prescription drug activity.
During the ride to Peñasco, Eddie says Lori
began talking about sex, about how important it was to her, "I felt uncomfortable and changed the subject."
used her cell phone to call Zack, her husband, and made arrangements for lunch before they returned to Taos.
...Sheriff Martinez transferred Lori out of the liaison position effective July 1, 2004.
On Aug. 23, 2004, Lori Garcia
sent a memo to Sheriff Charlie Martinez saying that she
was "seeking a second job, due to necessity."(Zack's child support had increased.) "If you would consider approving and placing me on the overlap shift as requested and possibly long term, then I would be able to have a fixed set of days off (Tuesday-Thursday) in which I could hold a part time job else where," she
wrote.The Sheriff acquiesced but gave her
Sunday-Tuesday as her
days off.Shortly thereafter, on Sept. 5, Lori began working as hostess/waitress at the Sagebrush Inn.She
worked three nights, and then called in sick to the Sheriff's Department
on Sept. 8, blaming an old softball injury to her
knee and hip for her
disability.On Sept. 10, Lori
supervisor, Sergeant Miguel Romero, that she
intended to see her
physician and felt sure she
would be given a note excusing her
from duty.On Sept. 11, Lori
handed in a form releasing her
from work at the department from Sept. 8-22.The note did not mention a reason for the leave.Lori
didn't have enough accrued sick leave for the entire period and supplemented sick leave with annual leave.During the 15 days leave for her knee injury, she worked nine days at the Sagebrush, according to reports. After confirming that Garcia was working at the Sagebrush while he thought she was on sick leave, the Sheriff issued her a "Proposal of Reprimand," calling for a three-day suspension for abuse of sick leave.Garcia objected and requested a hearing with County Manager Sammy Pacheco.
appealed, demanding a public personnel hearing on the issue.
On Oct. 25, she
filed a sex discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) and on Nov. 4 filed four Tort Claim Notices against Taos County
, alleging that the Sheriff reprimanded her
for abuse of sick leave in retaliation for her
claims of sexual harassment by his
...During the Nov. 18 appeal hearing, Lori argued that she was on annual leave and worked only one of her regular duty days at the Sagebrush.She
also testified that her
doctor wrote her
a second note (dated Sept. 24) saying she
could work at the Sagebrush
, but not at the Sheriff's Department
, information not given in the Sept. 11 doctor's note.Garcia said she hadn't informed the Sheriff of her ability to work at the Sagebrush "because in our office we use the chain of command and I informed my sergeant.
said, "He [Eddie] began making passes at me, asked me to get in the back seat with him-that it would only take a minute.
"Yes, I did," replied Lori
On Dec. 1, about 9 p.m., Garcia
patrol vehicle was shot at on Highway 68 near the horseshoe curve as she
was attempting to make a traffic stop."I have a vehicle really following me closely here on 68.I'm heading southbound, just north of the horseshoe," she
told Taos Central Communications."10-33 [emergency traffic] shots fired, Taos….Taos, my unit's been hit."Sirens can be heard as other units report they are enroute.Lori's breath comes heavy, as if she
were running, "Taos, vehicle still heading south; I can't get up to it at this time. [No siren sound.] It's a sedan, dark color, spoiler, unknown how many in the vehicle."Garcia
didn't get a license plate number.No vehicle was found.
Channel 13 promptly broadcast the story."Shots were fired and the target a Taos County
Deputy," says the reporter."But the Deputy believes the shooting may not have been random and that she
actually was specifically targeted."According to the report, Garcia
"has been in fear for her
said, "It's like I'm the bad guy here, but in all reality I know I'm doing the right thing and something needs to be done."
The State Police are investigating the shooting incident.
didn't return phone calls from Horse Fly.During a conversation last Aug. 28, Lori
informed this reporter that the Sheriff's Department
personnel are not allowed to speak to the media without Sheriff
Martinez' permission."I'm not in the habit of talking to the press," said Deputy Lori Garcia.