ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — A District Court judge sided with an Albuquerque firefighter who is running for the state House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon by blocking any disciplinary action by the city for at least 10 days.
Capt. Emily Kane is running in the Democratic primary for state House District 15, but the city said that is against the rules and threatened disciplinary action.
According to a city charter approved by voters in 1989, city employees cannot hold public office. City personnel rules also prohibit public employees from running for office, according to City Attorney David Tourek.
However, Kane, who has been a firefighter for more than 20 years, said she was given the OK to run in her district, which represents much of Albuquerque's North Valley.
The city contends it notified Kane in March that she was breaking the rules. Earlier this month, city officials gave Kane an ultimatum: either resign from AFD or drop out of the race.
Kane refused saying the city was violating her rights.
“I think that a firefighter's perspective is something that's missing in the Legislature, and I think there is no reason why we wouldn't want to have people like me serve,” Kane said.
A judge granted Kane's request for a temporary restraining order against the city barring it from firing Kane or taking disciplinary action against her for at least 10 days. A judge said there would be no harm in waiting until after the primary election, which is Tuesday.
According to Tourek, Kane is awaiting a hearing before the city's personnel board. He said regardless of the outcome of next week's primary, Kane has already broken the rules and the city will take disciplinary action.
"(Kane) still violated the rules," said Tourek. "Everybody else plays by the rules. Everybody else in the city of Albuquerque, employees in the city of Albuquerque follow the rules. They follow personnel rules. They follow the charter. She doesn't want to."
Kane is up against two other Democrats--Joe D. Kane and Matt David Mu oz--in next week's primary to replace Rep. Bill O’Neill, who's in a bid for the state Senate.
Two Republicans--Kenneth King and Christopher Saucedo--are also running in the primary.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.