UP — Bobby Willis, accused of cheating local investors out of millions of dollars with phony business deals, has returned from Missouri and is now being held in the San Juan County Adult Detention Center. Willis, who a judge allowed to live out of state if he wore an ankle bracelet, didn't show up for a required hearing and was jailed in Missouri. He and his lawyers fought extradition for three months and a week before exhausting his options. Willis, the former owner of New Mexico Title Company, is accused of selling investors on a massive hospital complex — one of those investors allegedly lost $1.5 million — and of stealing more than $5 million worth of gemstones. We welcome Willis back to San Juan County so he can face trial and the people who trusted him.
DOWN — We don't disagree that there are more important battles to fight than worrying about the appearance of the U.S. Post Office on 20th Street. But we also don't think the matter is unimportant. Mayor Tommy Roberts has escalated his attempts to get postal officials to fix nagging problems on an increasingly rundown building that some say was once a point of pride in the Farmington community. Peeling paint, broken light boxes protected only by faded traffic cones and nearly waist high weeds are among the problems that Roberts pointed out to The Daily Times. Roberts says he has been trying to get a response for more than a year, but has been "stonewalled" by Postmaster Steve Begay. Begay referred a Daily Times reporter to a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman but said, "Is (Roberts) willing to send some city workers to help me over here?" That response sounds a bit petulant, but we wonder if it reveals that the building's appearance is another consequence of that "smaller government" everybody seems to want. Federal and state governments are tightening their purse strings and that inevitably pushes the responsibility to pay down the food chain to local governments. It's unlikely that Begay is happy with the building's appearance but Farmington police have issued him a petty misdemeanor criminal citation for the weeds. That action requires Begay to appear in municipal court and he could face a maximum $500 fine and 90-day jail sentence if found guilty. It's too bad that resources apparently are so scarce that a federal building has become an eyesore.
DOWN — We're not sure why, but a toxicology report on John Marszalek II — who died in March after a U.S. Marshal's deputy shot him while he was stabbing himself — did not include a test that would have indicated whether he was using what is referred to as "synthetic marijuana." Also know as "spice," the drug has been known to cause symptoms that might explain Marszalek's bizarre behavior and why two attempts to subdue him with a Taser were unsuccessful. The tests did find he had THC — the active component in marijuana — in his system. Both the San Juan County District Attorney's Office and the Farmington Police Department have asked the medical investigator to do the test. We're also waiting on investigations to determine whether the shooting was justified or criminal. We hope it doesn't take another three months to get the results.