El Paso County Sheriff Upset with Socorro Councilman Over Alleged Assault
POSTED: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 9:58pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 11:03am
Harsh words Wednesday evening from El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles about a criminal complaint filed by Socorro Councilman Jesse Gandara Jr.
Sheriff Wiles said that it all started Tuesday, when El Paso County Sheriff's Detectives were investigating a complaint about the pavement of some driveway entrances in Socorro.
Wiles said that one of those belonged to councilman Jesse Gandara Junior.
Sheriff Wiles explained that councilman Gandara began taking pictures of the detectives and a witness.
He said that when the witness said he didn't want to be photographed, one of the detectives approached Gandara, grabbed his camera and forced it down.
Gandara has filed a criminal complaint against the detective for assault.
According to the police report, Gandara says the detective "squeezed his hand causing him pain."
Sheriff Wiles admits Gandara had the right to videotape in a public area but he's fed up with what calls "the continuing circus of the Socorro City Council."
"I'm getting tired of all the stuff that we have to deal with and I'm tired of the sheriff's department being dragged into that situation," Sheriff Wiles said. "They need to clean that stuff up out there. I mean those citizens in Socorro deserve better than what they're getting."
"He's a city councilman," Wiles said. "He's an elected official. He knows better than this. And he's out there videotaping us doing our job? Give me a break. That's just silly. It's unprofessional. It's unneccessary and so yeah, maybe the detective shouldn't have touched the camera. Ok, alright...and? And that means he should get arrested for a Class A Assault?"
Sheriff Wiles went on to question the fairness of the assault investigation because it's being conducted by the Socorro Police Department.
Socorro spokesman Dave Garcia said that councilman Gandara is "exceptionally disappointed with the uninformed opinions of the highest elected peace officer in the county."