Sunland Park Police Chief Under Investigation
POSTED: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 6:25am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm
SUNLAND PARK--- He's supposed to stand for law and order, but now New Mexico State police say Sunland Park's Head of Police may be out of order.
Wednesday evening, NewsChannel 9 received word that State police, with help from Las Cruces police, raided the Sunland Park Police Dept.
After hearing about the raid, NewsChannel 9 went to the station and talked to Police Chief Luis Monarez in his only face-to-face interview that day.
He told us he was being implicated in the search warrant, and with no knowledge of the exact accusations, we asked Monarez if he had done anything wrong.
"No ma'am. No ma'am," he said. "And I'm sure at the end, everything will be seen that there was nothing illegal going on."
Then we heard from State Police Capt. Rich Livicer. He said State Police received a complaint.
In that report, Monarez is accused of giving alcohol to three underage boys back in May.
Possibly at the station.
Possibly, in front of one of their security cameras.
That's why they confiscated all computer files carrying video from that time, checking to see if the allegations are true.
Yet Monarez believes the report was made just to defame him.
"It's unfortunate but it's kind of like a joke. You know, taken too far. But that's pretty much what it is," he said.
After being told of the actual allegations, we called Monarez and asked him directly if he provided alcohol to minors. He denied it.
Sunland Park residents didn't take the news too lightly.
"It just looks bad on everybody who lives here," said Juan Ontiveros, saying it's not behavior expected of a police chief.
"It's wrong. If it's true, it's wrong because they shouldn't be doing that. They're the ones that set the example for our kids," said Elizabeth Chaparro.
Yet New Mexico State police say Monarez is just under investigation, and he has not been charged with any crime.
They have asked for forensics assistance from the F.B.I and expect to have analyzed the evidence by next week.