UPDATE: El Paso County Sheriff Upset with Socorro Councilman Over Alleged Assault


POSTED: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 12:11pm

SOCORRO - There's plenty of fallout tonight after Sheriff Richard Wiles blasted Socorro city government. We spoke with Socorro residents today who say they're fed up with the drama.

"That is ridiculous, our money should be going toward important things," said Raquel Ponce, a resident in Socorro. She says she is embarrassed they are making headlines - again.

"Mr. Gandara knows the responsibility he has for our community," she said.

It all started when Sheriff's deputies began investigating some complaints that Socorro city government was using public funds to re-pave some people's driveways including councilman Jesse Gandara Jr.'s. When deputies showed up at Gandara's place to investigate, Gandara showed up with a camera.

"He's videotaping us? That's stupid and it doesn't make any sense, it's very unprofessional," Sheriff Wiles said.

But it's perfectly legal.

Still, the Sheriff says he was videotaping a witness who told him he didn't want to be on camera. So one of the detectives approached Gandara and forced his camera down. Now Gandara has filed a criminal complaint against the deputy for assault.

Pone thinks there's a bigger issue.

"You know someone's doing wrong and when they're going to get caught, they start pointing the fingers at somebody else," she said.

Sheriff Wiles says he's concerned that Socorro PD is running the investigation.

"That police department works clearly for that city and has interest in appeasing certain council members," he said.

We called Socorro police, but they said they couldn't comment because of the ongoing investigation.

Socorro spokesman Dave Garcia says Gandara is disappointed with the Sheriff's comments and that once all the facts comes out, Sheriff Wiles will owe the people of Socorro an apology.

"What about the children, what about the community, the people here? We all deserve to live better," Ponce said.


Comments News Comments

Sorry Jesse and Willie Jr. People are getting fed up with your fake "fighting for justice for the people of Socorro" soap box routine. It's time for all of you to leave office as Commissioner, SISD board member, and city council.

Everyone talks and talks about how much a "circus" this is. For Godsakes, people, VOTE these Bozos out of office once and for all!

I hope Jesus(not jessie)Gandara reads these comments. I have lived in Socorro for 30 years and I agree with fer-2291, I too have not seen any positive changes to our community. I will promise that come election time I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANY OF THE GANDARA'S. They have been the cause for The City of Socorro to be know as "corrupt", "a circus" or a "JOKE!" How embarrassing! Just an FYI, not all of us from Socorro are cry babies like the GANDARA's.

I along with you, and my family members who live in Socorro will not be voting for any Gandara again. In fact I voted to recall Gandara Sr.

Those Gandara boys need to cut the apron string from daddy and get a real job.

Corruption is going on everywhere. Socorro city council and PD needs new people to take over. Too much drama and no results. How embarrassing-see what the new generation looks forward to? Enough is enough!


Once again the City Council of Socorro is demonstrating that they are a joke. Sadly resulting in a travesty for the Socorro community. The city council routinely makes a mockery of leadership. Their continued ridicule of government for the people reflects their arrogance and self importance. The community does in fact deserve better and I hope voters remember these jesters at the next election.

Mr. Gandara is the person who owes an appology to the people of Socorro for not doing his job the correct way. I have lived in the socorro area for more than 42 yrs and I haven't seen any changes at all. We need new council members that are willing to help our community not just sit in the office and get our money. We want the Gandara's out of the council and hire people that are willing to help socorro. I'm proud of sheriff Wiles and we are backing you up 100%. Stop the crying Gandara!!!

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