Fambro’s Kangaroo Court on Civic Plaza Drive: 10 am

By: Bill Whaley
17 November, 2016

Opinion of Taos Friction

Today, the sign-man, Jeff Northrup, will be tried at Taos Municipal court by Judge Jim Fambro, an alternate municipal judge, Chairman of the Taos County Commission, husband of the town’s Director of Finance, Marietta Fambro, and a local hero of the Taos Volunteer Fire Department, not to mention “an employee of the Town of Taos.”

The current trespassing charges leveled against Mr. Northrup, as I understand them, concern his picketing and right to free assembly at Kit Carson Park during the Mother’s Day celebration in May of 2016. I’m not sure of the second charge or a third charge leveled by another member of the media at Northrup.

In the past town officials and police have ignored muggers and thieves who have attacked Mr. Northrup and stolen his signs, which signs accuse various and sundry figures of corrupt acts or private entities which gouge consumers at the gas pumps. At one point during the last year even CEO Reyes of KCEC, friend of former mayors, had Mr. Northrup ejected from the Coop board room during a Bernie Sanders rally.

Previously Mr. Northrup was kicked out of a Mother’s Day event for allegedly being “Anglo” as well as a critic of the former mayor, Mr. Darren Cordova, according to the Northrup and witnesses. Mr. Northrup has said he was allegedly denounced by Daniel Cordova, the mayor’s brother from the stage as well as Ms. Nancy Stapp, a radio announcer on DMC Broadcasting, who slandered Northrup, according to the sign man and audio tapes. Stapp now masquerades as a radio host on KSFR in Santa Fe.

Mr. and Ms. Fambro are longtime employees and/or associates of town government. Mr. Northrup’s confrontation with local government, and the friends of community leaders is legendary if ultimately futile and harmless. (He has cost me personally a ton of money and time even as the sign man counts on octogenarian friends to bail him out of jail.  But if one doesn’t stand up for the principle of free speech and due process, then civil society fails to protect individuals from “bully politicians” and the media. We citizens deserve the leadership we get if we ignore the bullies.

The sign-man’s courage is as foolhardy and legendary as is Judge Fambro’s alleged maliciousness and ignorance of judicial ethics.

The letter below allegedly confirms Fambro’s emotional and passionate hostility for the accused. Fambro seeks to try this citizen in “an impartial manner” despite two letters from Mr. Northrup asking Fambro to recuse himself in the current case. Apparently, the wise judge, whose formal education is limited to Taos High School, does not understand that an individual, who has a vested financial, moral, ethical, or familial interest in a matter, cannot remain impartial and above the fray.

Due to this disregard for “ethics,” Mr. Fambro should resign his seat as municipal judge and county commissioner. Regardless, the matter will be appealed, attorneys notified, lawsuits filed. This is allegedly only the beginning of Judge Frambro’s journey into the ethical and legal quagmire of northern New Mexico with Mr. Northrup as his guide.

Indeed, Mr. Northrup’s signs serve as an antidote to the mealy mouthed local media, which  censors the news by avoiding issues, as important as the ongoing exploitation of Taosenos by KCEC at the current PRC hearings.

Indeed Mr. Northrup provides a courageous voice and popular alternative for Taosneos, who enjoy the entertaining spectacle of one man’s opinion. Contrary to those who hide behind the anonymity of censorship or anonymous posts, Northrup’s signs are in sync with the President-elect’s twitter attacks on the New York Times. You may not like it but democracy today will be fought over in the streets and in social media.

The major media failed the presidential election due to the sins of omission: ignoring issues of global warming, mass incarceration, racism, and inequality. Trump transcended the media by using twitter to stir up his alleged “28 million followers.” Northrup stands by the side of the road and speaks truth to power.

Thanks to Amy Goodman the Dakota pipeline conflict went viral worldwide. Jeff, the sign man, has shed light on the dark underbelly of local politics.

Here’s the letter from a wiser, younger Fambro.The letter below, reproduced here, is stamped as having been received by Taos Municipal Court, May 30, 2012.

May 30, 2012
Judge Richard Chavez

Town of Taos Municipal Judge Taos, NM 87571

Judge Chavez,

It is with deep regret and with total humiliation that I must recuse myself from hearing the following cases, 2012091185 – CR, 2012091186 – CR, and 2012091157 – CR, all Town of Taos vs. Jeffery Northrup. This decision is based solely on the advice relayed to me by yourself from the Honorable Judge Sarah Backus.

Mr. Northrup has questioned my integrity and the integrity of the court which I was appointed and has done so in the lowest and most personal way he can. I defend my record as Alternate Judge for the Town of Taos and will never understand why this man can dictate and misuse Town personnel and funds for his own personal gain. His numerous ex parte communication attempts with me would not be tolerated by anyone in any legal position; however I have to allow him to continue to harass friends and make threats regarding my family, our income and mine and my wife’s job status.

The disgust I feel inside in having to recuse myself due to unfounded threats and statements by a person of this caliber will only make me work harder as a appointed judge in your court in the future and I am honored to serve with you in this capacity


Jim Fambro · ‘ -·.. . Alternate Judge
Town of Taos

CC: Dave.Romero, Jr., Special Council for Town of Taos
Honorable Sarah Backus, District Judge —
Jeffrey Northrup, Defendant –
Cyndee Perez, Legal Department, Town of Taos –

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