Rep. Carl Trujillo Accused of Sexual Harassment by Animal Rights Advocate

Just made public today: Animal Rights advocate Laura Bonar has accused Rep. Trujillo of sexual harassment and the board of Animal Protection Voters has asked Trujillo to resign. 

Trujillo Accused of Sexual Harassment by Animal Rights Advocate

Related to my recent posts about the NM Dist. 46 Democratic primary, I had just reviewed a series of LANL Regional Coalition Board meeting minutes examining the issues that were advanced by the Coalition and Andrea Romero’s role in that work. As I was prepping for a conversation with Santa Fe’s former Mayor Javier Gonzales about his role on the Board of the Regional Coalition and his perception of Romero’s work as Director of the Coalition, I received an email with three links to articles describing sexual harassment charges leveled against Rep. Trujillo.

I sat stunned by the news and then wondered: How do I report on this? I can’t just not mention it, given that the focus of the blog the past week and the focus of intense comment on the blog has been on the primary, with a good amount of that comment coming from Trujillo supporters critiquing Andrea Romero. I had allowed all of those comments to remain public on our blog, so in fairness I had to at least mention the accusations against Trujillo.  So I will try to do my best to present a balanced view of the situation.

As reported on KOB, the Seattle Time, and the Santa Fe New Mexican, Laura Bonar has accused Rep. Trujillo of multiple instances of sexual harassment over a period of years. Bonar has lobbied on behalf of Animal Protection Voters and in that context had worked with Rep. Trujillo over a period of years, as Trujillo is a strong animal rights advocate. The New Mexican reported that during the 2013-14 Roundhouse session pressure from Trujillo had escalated and that when Bonar cut off communication, a bill for which she had been advocating was then killed in committee.

From the New Mexican:  “You propositioned me. You touched me inappropriately. You held your power as a state legislator over my head, making it clear to me that my passion for my cause would get me nowhere unless I demonstrated ‘passion’ for you,” Laura Bonar wrote in an open letter to Trujillo that also was provided to news organizations. “You did all of this as a married man.”

Ms. Bonar met with the Board of Animal Protection Voters and today they issued a statement. Again from the New Mexican: “Bonar ‘has told us what happened, and I and our board believe her,’ said Elisabeth Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection Voters.”  Animal Protection Voters had given Trujillo a 100% rating for his ongoing advocacy for animal rights, but today, the group called upon Rep. Trujillo to resign.

Clearly, this is a charge that needs to be taken seriously. Clearly, more details will become available over time. And while the New Mexican reported that Rep. Trujillo had not commented on the charge, I expect that will be forthcoming. Click here to read the full New Mexican report.

I will continue my exploration of the District 46 primary race tomorrow when I report on Romero’s candidacy. I also spent a good part of the morning discussing the water issues involved in the Aamodt decision with Sandra Ely, the Aamodt Project Coordinator for Santa Fe County. That piece will take more work, but when complete will represent Part III of the series on District 46.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Local-State Government & Legislation

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3 replies

  1. Paul,

    In all due respect, IMO, you would have been wise to wait before sharing this. After all, if it is true, then the story is not going away between now and June 5th. Since the story has been picked up by an incredible range of media and repeated widely in social media, it is safe to assume that most of your readers have already seen it.

    At this point, neither your nor I know the facts. I will concede that the media jumped on this story, but they are not my standard for responsible analysis.

    I will not comment until I learn more.

  2. It is perfectly reasonable to pass on information. There will be plenty more coming. I waited for Carl to respond and posted both the news story and the response on a page I manage without commentary. The process will untangle this, but certainly not by June 5th, which was, of course, the strategy.

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