PRESS ADVISORY RE: LINDA HARRIS ARREST

PRESS ADVISORY RE: LINDA HARRIS ARREST

Following Wednesday’s arrest and the attendant press coverage of Doña Ana County’s DWI prevention coordinator on a charge of drunken driving, the county switchboard has received several calls from residents expressing everything from displeasure to outrage that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Let there be no mistake: The county takes the allegations seriously, particularly since the situation seems to indicate that the employee was acting in an official capacity at the time of her arrest. Once an internal investigation can be completed that includes witness statements and official results of breath and/or blood tests that can confirm whether the employee was drinking and/or was intoxicated on the job, appropriate administrative action will be taken.
A wrongful termination suit against the county could be costly. Therefore, the county is proceeding cautiously but deliberately to determine the veracity of the allegations. Once the investigation is complete -- and it shouldn’t take long -- action will be swift.
In the meantime, the DWI prevention program is still operating, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It has been a successful program, and despite the unfortunate nature of the incident at hand and the adverse publicity it has engendered, the fact remains that efforts to combat DWI at the county level are not in any way deterred.