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

Ex-golf course operator faces charges


September 18, 2019

Kevin Wilson

An arrest warrant was filed Tuesday against the former operator of the Colonial Park Golf Course. The city of Clovis alleges Charlie Maciel sold it equipment in May without disclosing the debt it carried.

CLOVIS - A former city golf course operator faces criminal charges alleging improper removal or disposal of encumbered property over $20,000.

Also, the city of Clovis was granted a restraining order Monday to freeze the bank accounts of its former golf course operator, after claiming Charlie Maciel did not inform them of debt owed on merchandise it purchased from him.

Court documents indicate the restraining order may have come too late.

Following the order to freeze any account at JP Stone Community Bank bearing the name of Maciel or his Real Golf limited liability corporation, an affidavit was filed by City Attorney Jared Morris indicating Maciel was able to withdraw all of the money in his account just before 9:20 a.m.

Maciel, reached on his cell phone by The News on Monday, declined comment.

District Attorney Andrea Reeb said Tuesday afternoon she sent District Judge Donna Mowrer a warrant for Maciel's arrest for improper removal or disposal of property. The charge carries up to nine years in prison.

The city filed suit against Maciel last Wednesday and asked for the restraining order a day later. But between then and Monday, four judges recused themselves from the case - David Reeb, Matt Chandler and Fred Van Soelen on Friday and Drew Tatum on Monday - before Mowrer granted it.

Between the Thursday filing of the restraining order and the Monday order granting it, The News published a story documenting the case.

"Upon information and belief," Morris wrote in the affidavit, "Charles Maciel was thereby notified of the ex parte request from Plaintiff to attach certain financial institution accounts."

According to last week's filings, the city alleged:

n Maciel sold 15 pieces of maintenance equipment and various other items to the city on May 1, the day Touchstone Golf took over operation at Clovis Municipal Golf Course. The city issued a check for $230,154.50 that day, and it was deposited in Maciel's account at JP Stone Community Bank the next day.

n Maciel signed a bill of sale indicating the assets he was selling the city were unencumbered.

n In June, various creditors contacted the city inquiring about payments that had stopped after May 1. The total debt owed to four creditors was estimated around $177,000. The city does not assert any wrongdoing on the part of the financial institutions, but names them as defendants in the lawsuit to prevent any attempts to repossess equipment the city considers necessary to operate the course.

A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.


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