Richardson Appointee Sues Martinez After Dismissal

New Mexico – The state Supreme Court has been asked to reinstate the director of the Workers' Compensation Administration, who was ousted when Republican Gov. Susana Martinez took office earlier this month.

Director Glenn Smith filed a lawsuit against Martinez last week, contending that he can't be removed by the governor until the end of his five-year term in January 2012.

Smith was appointed to the job by former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson in 2007. Smith is a former deputy attorney general.

Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said Friday that state law "does not expressly limit" the governor's power to remove the director of the Workers' Compensation Administration. The governor asked for the resignations of political appointees in the Richardson administration, including Smith.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.