Speedy Trial – Speedy Verdict for New Mexico Sheriff Charged With Civil Rights Violations

Rodella

Sheriff Tommy Rodella

Tommy Rodella and his son, Tommy Rodella, Jr., were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights, deprivation of rights, brandishing a firearm, and falsifying police documents. Tommy Rodella is Sheriff for Rio Arriba County in New Mexico.

FBI agents arrested the Rodella’s for their role in a March 11th confrontation that left the driver injured.

In August 2014, they pled not guilty.

The four count indictment alleges that Rodella was driving his personal vehicle when he engaged in a high-speed pursuit and unreasonable seizure of the driver who is identified in documents as “M.T.” Rodella was accused of dragging the driver from his car, and throwing him down in the dirt. Rodella’s son told the driver that his father is the sheriff. M.T. asked to see his badge. Documents state that Rodella then pulled the driver’s head from the dirt by his hair, then slammed his badge into M.T.’s right cheek and eye.

U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez for the District of New Mexico, said that both men “acted under the color of law” when they cornered the motorist at a dead end.

Rodella has a history of abusing the authority of his positions. In 2005, then New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson appointed Rodella as a magistrate judge. Rodella resigned a few months later amid criticism, including that he helped secure the release of a family friend who was jailed for drunk driving. The court barred him from running again for judicial office.

As a state police officer, Rodella was disciplined for marijuana use, improper use of a weapon, falsifying official reports, abusing sick leave and using his position for personal gain. He also was suspended for 30 days for firing at a deer decoy that game officers had set up to catch poachers. Rodella served in the state police from 1982 until retiring in 1995 on a disability pension. In spite of his history, Rodella was elected sheriff in 2010.

In the case of violating civil rights,  Rodella’s defense attorney, Bob Gorence, wanted a speedy trial for his client. He stated, “We can’t wait to try this, and I expect an inevitable acquittal and vindication,” Gorence said.

Well, Gorence got the speedy trial, but not the result that he wanted. Today, the jury returned the verdict of guilty. Robella is now looking at up to 17 years in prison. County managers had asked Rodella to resign as sheriff prior to the verdict, but he refused. Undersheriff Vince Crespin will take over for now.

Bye-bye Rodella. Enjoy your time at club fed with guys who don’t like crooked law enforcement officers.

Posted on 09/26/2014, in Cops Gone Wild, Trials & Cases and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Two sides to a story

    Sheesh. What a winner.

    Like

  2. peni4yothot

    Hopefully between this sheriff and the one who shot Levar Jones, will set a new limit that LE isn’t above the law.

    Good read Xena.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      x 2

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    • Peni,
      Congress should legislate a law that whenever a law enforcement officer is alleged to committing a crime against a citizen, that the feds automatically take over investigation as a civil rights matter.

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      • Absolutely. No more of the police policing themselves

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        • Absolutely! There’s too much excessive force and violating the constitutional rights of others, for the police to continue going about only answering to themselves.

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      • Oh my, my hand hit something and my reply disappeared.
        My reply was, what congress (they vacation more than any in history) and when in session they do nothing.
        I hear you though, they really should implement a law instead of someone having to request the feds.

        Like

  3. Gee……them thar Feds……hell, they ain’t messin ’round with them thar redneck sheet fer brains…..is they.

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    • The feds are really busy these days. They appear to move quicker when the investigation involves a person in the public trust rather than John Q citizen. Remember my prediction? We should hear in December that the feds have indicted tubs.

      Like

      • You heard it here 1st on X – E – N – A Radio……all the news that;s fit to type…..

        Our first story is about FogenPhoole and the alleged candy store robbery. According to one unnamed source, Fogen has been seen sneaking boxes of Root beer barrels out of several stores along with cheese puffs.Apparently he’s developed quit an allergy to Skittles.

        He’s also been taunting Duuuhhhnnnn by saying “I have a pistol….I have a pistol and youu don’t” over and over.

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        • Racer,

          Fogen has been seen sneaking boxes of Root beer barrels out of several stores along with cheese puffs.Apparently he’s developed quit an allergy to Skittles.

          Laughing Hard

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  4. Hopefully the will lost his pension,how can someone draft a disability pension and run for sheriff?

    What is wrong with the community electing a criminal for sheriff?

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  5. I need to add ,that sheriff Joe Arpaio for reasons that I do not know never been indicted
    and he is the greatest sheriff abuser in America.

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  6. Xena, there is a motion to dismiss the sheriff’s son charges for ” “traumatic brain injury” and PTSD .When Bowles was asked how Rodella Jr. could be a reserve deputy and not understand intent during the alleged altercation”

    http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3544140.shtml#.VCbJe8k38xB

    LOL

    Like

    • Hmmm. Looks like the motion to dismiss the charges was filed last month but maybe the court hasn’t ruled on it yet. Seeing that they got the Sheriff convicted, the feds no doubt felt there was no need to go forth on the charges against the son. One thing for certain is, he does not need to be in law enforcement.

      Like

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