The Attorney General’s Executive Office sets overall priorities and initiatives for the agency.
The Executive Office is comprised of:
Chief Deputy Albert Lama As Chief Deputy Attorney General, Al Lama is responsible for the AGO’s Criminal Divisions. The Chief Deputy is also in constant communication with Attorney General King and the special counsels to ensure that the directives, initiatives and priorities of the Attorney General are executed.
As Deputy Attorney General, Betsy Glenn is responsible for oversight of the AGO’s civil divisions. Additionally the Deputy Attorney General assists in the all of the directives, initiatives and priorities of the Attorney General to ensure they are carried out.
As General Counsel, R. Dave Pederson serves as chief legal adviser to the Attorney General. Pederson works on special projects as assigned by AG King and has joined the AG’s legislative team. His regular tasks include serving as a member of the AGO executive staff, working with various State Boards or Commissions, and managing complex major litigation.
Senior Counsel Stuart Bluestone is the main point of contact on legislative initiatives for the Attorney General. Because ethics reform has taken a prominent role in the Attorney General’s agenda, much of his work has been focused on the topic. In addition, serving at the AG’s chief policy advisor on multi-state actions is one of his primary responsibilities.
Communications Director Phil Sisneros works daily with each division, constituents and media to coordinate the collection of accurate information about the activities of the AGO and to disseminate that information to the public in the most efficient and expeditious manner possible. Providing the maximum amount of information about issues and legal cases being handled by the agency is one of Mr. Sisneros’ main objectives. Also within the purview of the Communications Division is helping to arrange for AG King to visit communities statewide as part of the AGO’s Education and Outreach efforts.
As Constituent Services Coordinator, Cordy Medina serves as a special resource to New Mexicans bringing important questions or concerns to Attorney General King. Ms. Medina strives to address those questions and concerns each day by directing them to the appropriate persons both within the AGO and in other state, federal and local government agencies. By coordinating and communicating with these agencies on the behalf of AG King’s constituents, Ms. Medina ensures that their concerns do not get lost in the shuffle.
Aside from the specific matters and agency management described above, the Executive Office also focuses on major substantive legal problems, such as those concerning the quantity and quality of water in New Mexico. With current drought conditions, ensuring the preservation of water resources and meeting requirements set out in compacts, statutes and federal law will be a difficult balancing act for many years to come. Protecting New Mexico’s water and agricultural tradition while at the same time meeting the needs of its citizens and conforming to the Endangered Species Act will be one of the defining priorities of Attorney General King’s term of office.
The following is a general overview of the Attorney General’s statutory responsibilities. To review the applicable statutes in their entirety, visit Statutes and Constitution of the State of New Mexico.
The Attorney General is an elected Executive Officer and is required to be a licensed attorney. The Attorney General also serves as head of the Department of Justice.
The Attorney General functions as the state's chief legal officer; legal counsel to state government; consumer advocate; and guardian of the public interest. According to the state’s constitution and statutes, the Attorney General:
Is fifth in succession to the Office of Governor, after the Speaker of the House;
Provides upon request, legal opinions and advice to the Lieutenant Governor;
Represents the state before any courts or agencies when the public interest requires or at the request of the Governor;
Prosecutes and defends all causes in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or any other court or tribunal in which the state is a party or is interested;
Prosecutes and defends all actions and proceedings involving any state employee in his/her official capacity;
Provides upon request, written legal opinions to the Legislature, any state official, or any District Attorney on any subject pending before one of these officials, and keeps a register of all opinions rendered and all action prosecuted and defended;
Accounts to the State Treasurer for all funds received;
Prepares upon request, drafts for contracts, bonds, and other instruments of writing as required for use by the state;
At the Governor’s direction, attends and assists “in the trial of indictment or information in any county;”
May act on behalf of a county in a criminal or civil case if the District Attorney fails or refuses to act;
Appoints deputies, assistants, peace officers and other employees as needed;
Represents residential and small business consumers in matters before the Public Regulation Commission;
Maintains the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty division to review, oversee and address concerns relating to the provisions of the Treaty;
Reports annually to the Governor and the legislature “the condition of his office, the text of all opinions rendered and a summary of business transacted of public interest; and
Performs “all other duties required by law.”