Last month, a judge granted Alexander Armijo a $25,000 settlement after Garcia (or perhaps someone on his staff) deleted Armijo’s comment on Facebook. Armijo posted a link to an article about how Democrats tried to fire Effie Amin, the nonpartisan Senate clerk prior to session. Armijo’s lawyer argued that Garcia, in deleting Armijo’s post and blocking him from future posts, violated his First Amendment rights as Garcia was an extension of the government.
The case was handled by the state’s Legislative Legal Services, so technically taxpayers handled all the costs. Now, Garcia is balking at reimbursing taxpayers for his censorship. Actually, the direct quote from 9News was:
“It’s something that I’ve been continuing to look into.”
So, we will take that as a “no”.
To the best of our knowledge, Legislative Legal Services is not meant to be a public defender for the legislature, it’s meant to be a legal resource for legislators as part of their job (i.e., advising on whether legislation is legal or not).
Garcia should reimburse the state for his Facebook foibles.