- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A federal judge is stepping aside from handling a water-rights case after more than a decade because her husband has been elected to the Santa Fe City Council.

The Santa Fe New Mexican (https://bit.ly/1jQcNT6 ) reports that District Judge Martha Vazquez cited a law prohibiting judges from handling legal matters in which their spouses is an officer of the a party in the case.

Santa Fe is one of the parties in the water-rights case. It was originally filed by the 1966 by the state engineer to determine water rights of four pueblos and thousands residents and farmers north of Santa Fe.

The judge’s husband, Joseph Maestas, was elected to the City Council in March. He says he didn’t know his election would force his wife’s removal from the case.

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