TIJERAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Thursday, a judge dismissed the charges in the Senior Center scrapbook case. But the Village, who pushed for the charges against the two elderly women for taking scrapbooks they made, said the ban from the Senior Center still stands.
Tuesday afternoon, the Village Mayor finally sat down with News 13, and called the two women “bullies” in the process.
When asked if Floy Watson and Doris Lark were ever disruptive at the Senior Center, Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez responded, “Bullies. You know, it’s sad to say that but it is, our seniors have been basically bullied by them.”
Watson and Lark were accused by the Village of stealing scrapbooks from the Senior Center back in January.
“They’re pictures of our seniors, also of our Senior Center when we were breaking ground, when we were building the Senior Center,” said Chavez. Mayor Chavez said she’s recovered some photos.
A metro court judge dismissed Watson’s theft case Thursday for a lack of evidence. “I’m glad it’s over,” said Watson, after court. Watson said she was looking forward to returning to the Senior Center, now that the case is closed.
Mayor Chavez said she hasn’t been able to talk about the case until now and had a group of supporters with her.
KRQE News 13 asked why the scrapbook case went this far. “All we did was file a police report through the direction of the council,” said Chavez. Chavez said once the women were charged by Bernallilo County Sheriff’s deputies, the village couldn’t dismiss charges.
Lark insisted she paid for and made the scrapbooks, and died last month before her trial.
Mayor Chavez and her supporters claim Lark and Watson should have known the scrapbooks were meant to stay at the Senior Center, and claim the two had caused problems at the center before this case.
“I’ve had seniors sign papers saying that if they would have known that this was for her (Lark’s) personal scrapbook, they would have never allowed her to take pictures,” said Rita Rivera, the current Senior Center Manager.
“My experience about Doris and Floy is that they have a very negative attitude,” said Sue Kron, who attends the Senior Center.
Chavez and the Village claim the previous Senior Center Manager verified to them that the scrapbooks belonged to the center. However, the former manager told News 13 that’s a lie. “And unfortunately it’s her word against Diane’s,” said the Mayor, referring to Diane Klaus, Village Clerk.
With the judge’s dismissal, he told Watson she can now return to the Senior Center. Then, the Village Attorney sent a notice, stating “the no trespass order respecting Ms. Watson is still in effect.”
When asked on what grounds can the Village still ban Watson, the Mayor responded, “at this point, I really don’t have a comment on that because I didn’t know that there was a statement from the attorney.”
Mayor Chavez said Watson’s ban from the Senior Center will be discussed at the next village council meeting Monday at 6 p.m.
Watson told News 13 she and Doris Lark never bullied anyone. Watson’s attorney said there’s potential grounds for a civil rights lawsuit in this case.