The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Tucumcari judge suspended without pay


February 23, 2018

TUCUMCARI — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday suspended Tucumcari Municipal Judge Joe Dominguez without pay pending the criminal proceeding of his recent arrest and driving while intoxicated charge.

Dominguez, 71, was arrested Feb. 4 by the New Mexico State Police after he failed a field sobriety test. Police said Dominguez was charged and booked for DWI, and a subsequent breath test determined his breath alcohol content was .09.

The New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition in the State’s Supreme Court for the temporary suspension. The commission requested the suspension be in place until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings and its investigation into Dominguez’s conduct. The commission argued in its petition that Dominguez’s alleged acts may constitute willful misconduct in office.

According to a release from the New Mexico State Police:

• A state police officer on patrol in Tucumcari saw a white pickup fail to properly stop at a stop sign on the corner of Second and Robinson. The officer stopped the vehicle for the observed traffic violation.

• As the officer conducted the traffic stop he smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.

• The driver, identified as Dominguez, admitted to consuming alcohol prior and performed poorly on sobriety tests.

• During the course of the investigation Dominguez identified himself as a Tucumcari Municipal Court judge.

• Dominguez was booked into the Quay County Detention Center and charged.

Dominguez has declined to comment, directing questions to his attorney Don Schutte, based in Tucumcari.

Schutte could not be reached immediately for comment.

Dominguez is running unopposed in the March 6 city municipal election.

Tucumcari City Clerk Angelica Grady said there are alternates who can serve as municipal judge during the suspension.


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