Positive COVID-19 Test For State Public Defender Closes Santa Fe Office, Prompts Contact Tracing


Clients, justice partners being alerted


The New Mexico Law Offices of the Public Defender on Tuesday night temporarily closed its Santa Fe office and has launched a contact history after a public defender tested positive for COVID-19. 

The office’s employees are continuing to work from home, and the office is closed until at least April 12. Thanks to the early efforts of the Santa Fe jail closing in-person visits, First Judicial District Court’s early switch to telephonic court procedures, and LOPD’s Safe Workplace Directive, which requires employees keep 6 feet of distance with clients and justice partners, this attorney had limited direct contact with inmates and court personnel. 

Still, LOPD administrators are performing a contact history to alert as many of our professional partners and clients as possible. This process is underway. The department is following all other DOH and CDC protocols, including a deep cleaning of the office. 

The remaining LOPD offices across the state are strictly following DOH and CDC guidelines and working around the clock to limit possible exposure for our colleagues and clients, since an exposure of a confined jail population to the coronavirus could be catastrophic. 

“We’re thankful our employee is able to quarantine at home at this time. We will continue to be proactive with measures to protect the health of our employees, our colleagues in the justice system, and our clients,” Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur said Wednesday. 

For more information, call or text media contact Maggie Shepard (505) 690-4529. LOPD can be found at www.lopdnm.us