City must pay $700K for lawyer fees in Ten Commandments case

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FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – A northwest New Mexico community is considering using online fundraising to pay the $700,000 it owes from a lawsuit that stemmed from a dispute over a Ten Commandments monument that was formerly located outside of Bloomfield City Hall.

The Farmington Daily Times reports the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 sided with a lower court that ordered the monument’s removal, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution and represented a government endorsement of religion.

The city of Bloomfield must now pay the legal fees for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the complaint in 2012 on behalf of two Bloomfield residents, Janie Felix and Buford Coone.

City Manager Eric Strahl says Bloomfield has until June 30, 2021, to pay the $700,000 it owes for the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal fees.

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