Top attorney, others named in federal privacy lawsuit

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A civil, federal lawsuit has been filed against a prominent Albuquerque attorney and others for leaking private, stolen emails. It goes back to Jamie Estrada and the emails he intercepted.

Just last week Jamie Estrada, the former campaign manager for Susana Martinez, pleaded guilty to stealing emails and giving them to others in a criminal case.

Now, some of those people who had their emails stolen are seeking damages.

When it comes to privacy, the interception, theft or use of an illegally obtained email is a violation of federal law. Hundreds of stolen emails are at the heart of a federal lawsuit seeking damages by alleging prominent New Mexico political figures violated their privacy rights. Mark Braden is an attorney with the Washington D.C. law firm that filed the federal lawsuit, Friday.

“It’s eroding in many different ways and one way it erodes is people doing outrageous things like stealing people’s emails and publicly disseminating them,” says Braden.

The lawsuit alleges State Democratic Party Chair and prominent attorney Sam Bregman, private investigator Michael Corwin, former Martinez Campaign Manager Jamie Estrada, former Martinez campaign staffer Anissa Ford and Jason Loera conspired to intercept and release private emails between private citizens, everything from campaign emails to bank statements, in order to “injure, harm and damage Governor Martinez and others.”

“These are chosen because it’s already relatively clear from the public record that these individuals participated in the scheme that resulted in the distribution of their private communications,” Braden says.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants “should have known, or had reason to know” that the emails they got related to the Susana 2010 email account were obtained illegally.

An attorney for the plaintiffs in this case says, the defendants are sophisticated people and he adds, Bregman himself, is a lawyer. He says, these people should know the law.

“When you get hundreds and hundreds of emails that aren’t addressed to the person who’s giving it to you and there’s no earthly reason why you should have them and you decide to widely disseminate them, there can’t be any mystery in anybody’s mind,” explains Braden.

Bregman said he had not seen the lawsuit and refused to answer questions. However, in a prepared statement he said quote: “This was brought by the Governor’s political minions who want nothing more than to bring a political circus to the judicial system.”

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