IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO


SHANE UTLEY, BETH UTLEY,
LISA HAWS AND MATT WILCOX

Plaintiffs,

VS. CAUSE NO. CIV-14-357 KBM/SMV

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, SAN JUAN COUNTY,
SAN JUAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE,
KEN CHRISTESEN, in his individual capacity,
RON ANDERSON, in his individual capacity,
AND BRICE CURRENT, in his individual capacity

Defendants.


ANSWER TO COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATIONS OF
THE FIRST AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS OF
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION- 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
BREACH OF AN IMPLIED CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT,
AND VIOLATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT CONDUCT ACT

COME NOW Defendants, the Board of Commissioners of San Juan County, New
Mexico, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Ken Christesen, Ron Anderson and Brice Current,
by and through their counsel Brennan & Sullivan, P.A., (James P. Sullivan) appearing, and for
their Answer to the Complaint for Violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the
United States Constitution- 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Breach of an Implied Contract of Employment,
and violations of the Government Conduct Act [Doc. 1, the “Complaint”] state:


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I. JURISDICTION
1. In response to paragraph 1 of the Complaint, Defendants admit the application of
these laws to Plaintiffs’ claims, but deny any viability of same.
2. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 2 of the Complaint.
3. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 3 of the Complaint.
4. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 4 of the Complaint.
5. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 5 of the Complaint.
6. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 6 of the Complaint.
7. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 7 of the Complaint.
8. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 8 of the Complaint.
9. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Complaint.
10. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 10 of the Complaint.
11. In response to paragraph 11 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in Paragraph 11.
12. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 12 of the Complaint.
13. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 13 of the Complaint.
II. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
14. In response to paragraph 14 of the Complaint, Defendants restate their answers to
paragraphs 1 through 13 as set forth above.
15. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 15 of the Complaint.
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16. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 16 of the Complaint.
17. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 17 of the Complaint.
18. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 18 of the Complaint.
19. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 19 of the Complaint.
20. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 20 of the Complaint.
21. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 21 of the Complaint.
22. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 22 of the Complaint.
23. In response to paragraph 23, Defendants admit the first two sentences. As to the
third and last sentences, Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as
to the truth of these allegations, and therefore deny them. Defendants deny the allegations of the
fourth sentence.
24. Defendants admit that the SJCSO promoted Sergeant Wilcox into a Support
Service Lieutenant effective March 7, 2010, but deny the balance of the allegations contained in
paragraph 24.
25. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 25 of the Complaint.
26. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 26 of the Complaint.
27. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 27, and therefore deny same.
28. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 28. Defendants deny the second
sentence of paragraph 28.
29. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 29 of the Complaint.
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30. Defendants admit the first two sentences in paragraph 30, and deny the last
sentence.
31. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 31. Defendants admit that on or
about April 11, 2011 Sheriff Christesen advised Mr. Wilcox that he would resume his prior rank
and pay as Sergeant, and that this occurred during his probationary period in the Lieutenant rank.
32. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 32 of the Complaint.
33. In response to paragraph 33 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 33.
34. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 34 of the Complaint.
35. Defendants admit the first sentence in paragraph 35. Defendants admit that the
incident was investigated and that there are no similar violations in Mr. Wilcox’s file.
Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 35.
36. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 36 of the Complaint.
37. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 37. Defendants deny the last
two sentences of paragraph 37.
38. Defendants admit that Ms. Haws supervised Mr. Wilcox for a period of time, but
deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 38.
39. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 39, except deny that the transfer
from Lieutenant in the Detective Division from the Patrol Division is a promotion.
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40. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 40, and therefore deny same.
Defendants deny the allegations in the second sentence of paragraph 40. Defendants admit the
last sentence of paragraph 40.
41. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 41 of the Complaint.
42. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 42 of the Complaint.
43. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 43 of the Complaint.
44. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 44 of the Complaint.
45. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations in the first sentence of paragraph 45, and therefore deny same.
Defendants admit the allegations in the second sentence of paragraph 45. Defendants deny that
Shane Ferrari was a probationary employee when he attended the F.B.I National Academy.
46. In response to paragraph 46 of the Complaint, Defendants deny that Ms. Haws
complained to Sheriff Christesen that although she was the senior lieutenant she was improperly
passed over to receive the NA training. Defendants state that as Ms. Haws was the only female
in the SJCSO to hold the rank of lieutenant or above, she is the only female eligible under NA
policy to attend its training, and so it is of course apparent that only lieutenants of the male
gender were previously sent to the NA. Because Ms. Haws had previously declined to attend the
National Staff Command Training, and due to multiple other factors, she was not the candidate
for the next national training opening who would best serve the Sheriff’s Office and the needs of
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the community it serves. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief
as to the truth of the balance of the allegations in paragraph 46, and therefore deny same.
47. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 47 of the Complaint.
48. Defendants deny the first sentence of paragraph 48. Defendants admit that Ms.
Haws indicated to Sheriff Christesen that she wanted to go to the NA, but does not know the date
upon which this occurred, and that Sheriff Christesen indicated that she could be considered for
the NA. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of
the balance of the allegations in paragraph 48, and therefore deny same.
49. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 49 of the Complaint and further
state that no one has been selected to attend the NA training in 2013 or 2014.
50. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations in the first sentence of paragraph 50, and therefore deny same.
Defendants state that no one from the SJCSO was sent to the NA in 2013 or 2014. Defendants
admit that the NA indicated it wanted to fill a quota for females attending the NA, but that this
did not override the selection process of the SJCSO, and therefore, due to multiple factors
relating to the best interest of the SJCSO and the community it serves, Ms. Haws was not sent to
the NA. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of
the balance of the allegations in paragraph 50, and therefore deny same.
51. In response to paragraph 51 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
March 12, 2014 Ms. Haws spoke with Defendant Current about her not wanting to get involved
in the upcoming primary election for Sheriff. Defendants lack knowledge or information
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sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in the last sentence of paragraph 51,
and therefore deny same. Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 51.
52. Defendants deny the first three sentences of paragraph 52. Defendants lack
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in the last
two sentences of paragraph 52, and therefore deny same.
53. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 53 of the Complaint.
54. In response to paragraph 54 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
March 17, 2014 Ms. Haws asked Sheriff Christesen whether or not she could attend the NA
training, and the Sheriff responded that this issue would be addressed later because there were
other priorities prior to the election which was only two and a half months away. At this time
Sheriff Christesen had no information regarding potential slots in the NA for the SJCSO nor
dates for the next NA sessions.
55. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 55, and therefore deny same.
56. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 56, and therefore deny same.
57. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 57 of the Complaint.
58. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 58 of the Complaint.
59. Defendants admit the allegations of the first sentence in paragraph 59.
Defendants deny the allegations in the second sentence of paragraph 59. Defendants state that
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the third sentence is a legal conclusion, to which no response is required. To the extent a
response is required, Defendants deny same.
60. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 60 of the Complaint.
61. In response to paragraph 61 of the Complaint, Defendants state that on or about
March 27, 2014 Undersheriff Anderson had a staff meeting and advised that the Command staff
who worked in the main office and Ms. Utley should report to him when they were leaving the
building, except for lunch. Defendants admit that this was a newly implemented policy, deny
that this was retaliation for anything, and state that it was required for the efficient operation of
the SJCSO.
62. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 62 of the Complaint.
63. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 63 of the Complaint.
64. Defendants deny the first sentence of paragraph 64. Defendants state that the
second sentence of paragraph 64 is so ambiguous that they are unable to respond to such a
generalization, and therefore deny same. Defendants admit the last two sentences of paragraph
64.
65. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 65, and therefore deny same.
66. In response to paragraph 66 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
April 11, 2013 Sheriff Christesen and Undersheriff Anderson met with Ms. Utley. Defendants
deny the second sentence of paragraph 66. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient
to form a belief as to the truth of the last sentence of paragraph 66, and therefore deny same.
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67. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 67. Defendants deny the second
sentence of paragraph 67.
68. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 68 of the Complaint.
69. In response to paragraph 69 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that the San Juan
County Employee Handbook so states, but state that this had no impact upon Ms. Utley’s pay.
70. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 70 of the Complaint.
71. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 71 of the Complaint.
72. In response to paragraph 72 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that they
determined that it was a conflict of interest for Ms. Utley to continue to serve as the President of
the SJCSO, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, at the same time that she was a full-time
employee of the SJCSO, and required her to resign as President and advised her of this during
her annual review.
73. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 73 of the Complaint.
74. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 74 of the Complaint.
75. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 75, and therefore deny same.
76. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 76, and therefore deny same.
77. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 77 of the Complaint.
78. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 78 of the Complaint.
79. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 79 of the Complaint.
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80. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 80 of the Complaint.
81. Defendants deny the first sentence of Paragraph 81. Defendants admit the second
sentence of Paragraph 81.
82. In response to paragraph 82 of the Complaint, although Defendant Current and
Shane Utley had a discussion concerning Shane Utley’s wife’s performance of her job duties in
connection with the golf tournament, Defendants deny that he ever “bad mouthed” her to anyone,
and therefore deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 82.
83. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 83 of the Complaint.
84. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 84 of the Complaint.
85. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 85 of the Complaint.
86. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 86 of the Complaint.
87. In response to paragraph 87 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that Capt.
Current stated that the pay for the position last held by Liz Valdez was in too high since the
number of employees under her supervision decreased. Defendants deny the balance of the
allegations in paragraph 87.
88. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 88 of the Complaint.
89. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 89 of the Complaint.
90. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 90. Defendants lack knowledge
or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the balance of the allegations in
paragraph 90, and therefore deny same.
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91. In response to paragraph 91 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that the primary
election for Sheriff of San Juan County was held in June 2014. Defendants lack knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the balance of the allegations in
paragraph 91, and therefore deny same.
92. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 92 of the Complaint.
93. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 93, and therefore deny same.
94. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 94 of the Complaint.
95. Defendants admit the first sentence of paragraph 95. Defendants state that the
conversation referenced a number of work related matters and included a discussion of the three
candidates in the upcoming Sheriff’s election. Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in
paragraph 95.
96. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 96 of the Complaint.
97. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 97 of the Complaint.
98. In response to paragraph 98 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
March 18, 2014 Shane Utley approached Capt. Current to ask his advice as to how to gain the
trust of Sheriff Christesen, and that Capt. Current spoke with him about this. Defendants admit
that Shane Utley told Capt. Current that Mr. Utley’s family supported the candidacy of Mike
Kovacs. Defendants admit that Mr. Utley attended a meeting of the San Juan Wildlife
Federation that evening with Sheriff Christesen. Defendants deny the balance of the allegations
in paragraph 98.
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99. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 99 of the Complaint.
100. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 100, and therefore deny same.
101. In response to paragraph 101 of the Complaint, Defendants lack knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in the first two sentences,
and therefore deny same. Defendants deny the allegations in the last sentence of paragraph 101.
102. In response to paragraph 102 of the Complaint, Defendants lack knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation that it was rumored that
Christesen would remove both Utleys from the SJCSO. Defendants deny the balance of the
allegations in paragraph 102.
103. In response to paragraph 103 of the Complaint, Defendants lack knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in the first sentence, and
therefore deny same. Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 103.
104. In response to paragraph 104 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that they
received an e-mail form Shane Utley on or about March 23, 2014 stating that he would no longer
support Sheriff Christesen in his re-election, and asked that they tell Capt. Current to stop talking
negatively about his wife.
105. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 105 of the Complaint.
106. In response to paragraph 106 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
March 24, 2014 Shane Utley came into Undersheriff Anderson’s office to tell him that he had
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been to HR to complain about the hostile work environment, and that this was discussed with
Sheriff Christesen present. Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 106.
107. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 107 of the Complaint.
108. In response to paragraph 108 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that on or about
March 27, 2014 Undersheriff Anderson advised the SJCSO Command Staff and Beth Utley that
they would be required to report to him where they would be going if leaving work premises,
except for leaving for lunch. Defendants admit that this was a change from the prior practice.
Defendants deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph 108.
109. In response to paragraph 109 of the Complaint, Defendants admit that the
employees of the SJCSO are required to follow SJCSO and County policies and procedures.
Defendants deny the allegations in the second sentence of paragraph 109.

COUNT I

42 U.S.C. § 1983 FREEDOM OF POLITICAL ASSOCIATION;
FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

110. In response to paragraph 110, Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1
through 109, as set forth above.
111. In response to paragraph 111 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 111.
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112. In response to paragraph 112 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 112.
113. Defendants deny the allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 113.
The second sentence of paragraph 113 states a legal conclusion, to which no response is
required. To the extent a response is required, Defendants deny the allegations of the last
sentence of paragraph 113.
114. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 114 of the Complaint.
115. Defendants admit that they were acting under color of state law, but deny the
balance of the allegations in paragraph 115.
116. In response to paragraph 116 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 116.
COUNT II

42 U.S.C. § 1983 FREEDOM OF SPEECH/RETALIATION;
FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

117. In response to paragraph 117, Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1
through 116, as set forth above.
118. In response to paragraph 118 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 118.
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119. In response to paragraph 119 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 119.
120. In response to paragraph 120 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 120.
121. In response to paragraph 121 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 121.
122. In response to paragraph 122 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 122.
123. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 123 of the Complaint.
124. In response to paragraph 124 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 124.
125. In response to paragraph 125 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 125.
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126. In response to paragraph 126 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 126.
127. In response to paragraph 127 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 127.
COUNT III

42 U.S.C. §1983 EQUAL PROTECTION;
FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

128. In response to paragraph 128, Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1
through 127, as set forth above.
129. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 129 of the Complaint.
130. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 130 of the Complaint.
131. In response to paragraph 131 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 131.
132. Defendants admit that they acted under color of state law, but deny the balance of
the allegations in paragraph 132.
133. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 133 of the Complaint.
134. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 134 of the Complaint.
135. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 135 of the Complaint.
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136. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 136, and therefore deny same.
137. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 137 of the Complaint.
138. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 138 of the Complaint.
139. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 139 of the Complaint.
140. In response to paragraph 140 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 140
141. In response to paragraph 141 of the Complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required Defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 141.
COUNT IV

42 U.S.C. § 1983 DUE PROCESS;
FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

142. Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1 through 141, as set forth above.
143. Defendants admit that they acted under color of state law, but deny the balance of
the allegations in paragraph 143.
144. Defendants admit that when Mr. Wilcox returned to his sergeant rank that his pay
was reduced form the rank of lieutenant, but deny the balance of the allegations in paragraph
144.
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145. In response to paragraph 145 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 145.
146. In response to paragraph 146 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 146.
147. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 147 of the Complaint.
148. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 148 of the Complaint.
149. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 149 of the Complaint.
150. In response to paragraph 150 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 150.
151. In response to paragraph 151 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 151.
COUNT V

42 U.S.C. § 1983 CONSPIRACY;
FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

152. Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1 through 151, as set forth above.
153. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 153 of the Complaint.
154. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 154 of the Complaint.
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155. Defendants admit that they acted under color of state law, but deny the balance of
the allegations in paragraph 155.
156. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 156 of the Complaint.
157. In response to paragraph 157 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 157.
158. In response to paragraph 158 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 158.
COUNT VI

NMSA 1978 §§ 10-16-1, et seq.;
THE NEWMEXICO GOVERNMENTAL CONDUCT ACT

159. Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1 through 158, as set forth above.
160. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 160 of the Complaint.
161. In response to paragraph 161 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 161.
162. In response to paragraph 162 of the complaint, defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 162.
163. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 163 of the Complaint.
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164. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 164 of the Complaint.
165. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 165 of the Complaint.

COUNT VII

NEW MEXICO COMMON LAW IMPLIED CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT;
DEFENDANT BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF SAN JUAN COUNTY

166. Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1 through 165, as set forth above.
167. Defendants admit the allegations in paragraph 167 of the Complaint.
168. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 168 of the Complaint.
169. Defendants lack knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of the allegations of paragraph 169, and therefore deny same.
170. In response to paragraph 170 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 170.
171. Defendants admit that the County had policies as stated in subsections (2)-(4),
(6)-(10), (12), (13) and (15), but deny the balance of the allegations contained in paragraph 171.
172. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 172 of the Complaint.
173. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 173 of the Complaint.
174. Defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 174 of the Complaint.
III. DAMAGES AND PRAYER FOR RELIEF
175. Defendants restate their answers to paragraphs 1 through 174, as set forth above.
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176. In response to paragraph 176 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 176.
177. In response to paragraph 177 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 177.
178. In response to paragraph 178 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 178.
179. In response to paragraph 179 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 179.
180. In response to paragraph 180 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 180.
181. In response to paragraph 181 of the complaint, Defendants state that it asserts a
legal conclusion not requiring an answer, but if an answer is required defendants deny the
allegations in paragraph 181.



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AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
The individual Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity for all claims asserted under 42
U.S.C . § 1983.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
The Complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
At all times material hereto Defendants have acted in good faith.
FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by the Statute of Limitations.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages is barred by the Constitution of the United States
of America, and the Constitution of the State of New Mexico.
SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs are not entitled to punitive damages against any Defendant as none acted willfully,
recklessly or engaged in any grossly negligent conduct in disregard of Plaintiffs’ rights.



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EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs’ Complaint is brought in bad faith and without merit, and Defendants are entitled
to attorneys' fees and costs as prevailing parties under 29 U.S.C. Section 794a(b) and 42 U.S.C.
Section 1988.
NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
At all times material hereto, Defendants acted in good faith to prevent discrimination in the
workplace as set forth in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998); Burlington
Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998).
TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiff has failed to mitigate damages thereby barring or reducing any recovery.
WHEREFORE, Defendants respectfully request that this Court dismiss Plaintiffs’
Complaint, that they take nothing thereby, for costs and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred, and
for such other and further relief that this Court deems just and proper.

Respectfully submitted,
BRENNAN & SULLIVAN, P.A.

By: /s/ James P. Sullivan
James P. Sullivan
128 East DeVargas
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 995-8514
Attorneys for Defendants

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on the 30
th
day of June, 2014, I filed the foregoing
electronically through the CM/ECF system, which caused the following parties or counsel to be
served by electronic means, as more fully reflected on the Notice of Electronic Filing:

Michael E. Mozes, Esq.
5732 Osuna Road, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Michael@mozeslawoff.com
Attorney for Plaintiffs

By: /s/ James P. Sullivan
James P. Sullivan

Case 1:14-cv-00357-KBM-SMV Document 15 Filed 06/30/14 Page 24 of 24

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