Far-left Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has publicly contested the account given by far-left Democrat Mayor Alan Webber during his deposition related to a lawsuit concerning the October 2020 removal of the Plaza obelisk “Soldiers’ Monument” in Santa Fe. The governor criticized the mayor’s portrayal of their conversation, stating, “Mayor Webber’s remarks during his deposition amount to an egregious mischaracterization of our conversation.”
During his deposition, Mayor Webber suggested that Governor Lujan Grisham had discouraged him from attempting to address the contentious issue surrounding the obelisk, which had been a focal point of tension between stakeholders.
According to Webber’s recounting, the governor described the issue as “unsolvable” and warned him against trying to “rectify hundreds of years of history that were hard to untangle.”
However, Governor Lujan Grisham countered this narrative, asserting that her advice to Mayor Webber was to approach the situation with “caution and sensitivity,” given the highly charged emotions it elicited among the residents of Santa Fe. The governor accused Mayor Webber of shirking responsibility and criticized his leadership, stating, “Instead of leading on this issue, Mayor Webber is attempting to pass the buck and spread blame. That gets us nowhere, and he should be ashamed of himself for not owning his inaction when asked about it. There is an obvious leadership problem at the City of Santa Fe.”
The city, through Bernie Toon, a senior adviser, initially indicated a willingness to respond to the governor’s remarks but later decided against commenting on the matter, per the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The controversy over the obelisk and other monuments sparked legal action by Union Protectíva de Santa Fé, a local Spanish fraternal organization. In June 2021, the group filed a lawsuit against Mayor Webber, alleging that his decision to remove the obelisk, among other actions, violated the New Mexico Prehistoric and Historic Sites Preservation Act. The group argued that the mayor had succumbed to pressure from out-of-state fringe anti-Hispanic hate groups without adequately exploring alternatives to preserve the site. The lawsuit aims to compel the city to reconstruct the obelisk.