Santa Fe attorney Steven Farber, who has been quite displeased with my coverage of the death of Leland Valdez and who has never spoken with me once about what he views as errors in my reporting, wrote a “My View” 0p-Ed piece in Sunday’s New Mexican.
The “My View” feature of the Sunday paper is a great way for people in the community to get their side of the story out when they feel we aren’t doing so. I love the fact that our paper gives him an outlet to the reader to make his case.
Farber’s claim is that the newspaper, and me in particular, have been smearing his client’s name since the start of all this and letting the Governor’s Office spew erroneous statements about the case and about CYFD. As a result, he feels, people in the community now have a negative opinion about his client, which is the result of my reporting.
His client, CYFD investigator Donald Gallegos, was one of two state employees disciplined for their involvement in an August 2010 investigation into abuse allegations made concerning Leland Valdez, the 3-year-old boy who police and prosecutors say was beaten to death in his mother’s Pojoaque area home.
Here is a sampling of what Farber wrote:
Donald Gallegos, a low-ranking CYFD investigator, has been unfairly vilified in the press and community as a result. There is a need to separate out the political intrusion of the governor into state personnel matters from her comments about the murder case against the mother and her boyfriend. The murder case will show whether there is support for the criminal defense lawyers’ allegations that there is actual political interference with the prosecution of these two suspects.
… and …
The only logical conclusions are that the failure to correct these misstatements was a result of a callous and reckless disregard for the truth to support an agenda that CYFD was a bad actor, or a shocking lack of consideration about the impact of false accusations on dedicated CYFD employees, or inadequate reporting and fact checking by The Santa Fe New Mexican.
Here are some links to recent coverage:
- Farber’s piece: My View: CYFD investigator unfairly disciplined
- Bond reductions denied in Leland Valdez abuse case
- Autopsy: Leland’s death was homicide
- DA: Abuse long before Pojoaque boy’s death
- Repeated errors at CYFD cost young lives