Court orders state senator to settlement hearing

Staff Report

The Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A federal magistrate has ordered Republican Senator Rod Adair of Roswell and a man who sued him to appear for a mandatory settlement conference.

The hearing before U.S. Magistrate Carmen Garza is set for November 29th in Las Cruces.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Adair in May over an altercation at the 2007 Legislature between Adair and Democrat Virgil Beagles.

Beagles is a frequent critic of the lawmaker.

The federal lawsuit alleged Adair violated Beagles' First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech.

Adair has denied the charges.

His attorney, Mark Jarmie, says the senator intends to vigorously defend himself.