March 19, 2013
Over A Motorcycle
The New Mexico Supreme Court has suspended a municipal judge without pay for 90 days.
The Las Cruces Sun-News described the violations:
An Espanola municipal judge has been suspended for 90 days without pay and must reimburse the state for an investigation of his conduct.
The New Mexico Supreme Court made the decision Wednesday to discipline Judge Stephen Martinez.
The Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/LtGsKK ) reports that Salazar had ordered a towing company to return a motorcycle that was seized in a criminal case in another court. The motorcycle belonged to an acquaintance and son of a member of Salazar's church.
Salazar told the judicial panel that he would take responsibility for his actions.
The high court ordered Salazar to reimburse the towing company owners the $8,500 they spent to get his order overturned. Salazar also cannot accept $7,700 in public funds that city councilors provided for legal bills in the case.
The judge, who was on probation for earlier misconduct, also engaged in ex parte communications concerning the motorcycle. (mike Frisch)
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