Headbutting ex-cop now roundhouse security guard

SANTA FE (KRQE) – He was the subject of a News 13 Special Assignment a few years ago, when he was caught on camera head-butting someone at a casino. Now, KRQE News 13 has learned a state Senator has helped Algin Mendez, an ex-cop and ex-deputy, land a job doing undercover security at the roundhouse.

Since the story about Mendez aired, the state has banned him from being a cop in New Mexico. However, that didn’t stop a state Senator from helping him get his most recent gig, protecting lawmakers during the legislative session.

Surveillance cameras caught Mendez butting heads, in trouble for drunk and rowdy behavior in the past. Cameras captured Mendez over and over again, getting violent and being escorted by security out of the Buffalo Thunder Casino in 2010.

Currently, News 13 learned Mendez was hired on as part of the security staff through the state senate for the legislative session.

Documents obtained by News 13 show his resume for the job includes his law enforcement background, both as a New Mexico State Police patrolman, and a Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s deputy.

But what it doesn’t show is that the former boxer and MMA fighter was fired from State Police for refusing to take a report from a domestic violence victim.

Then came his bad behavior as a Rio Arriba deputy. Mendez was suspended from that job, then quit as he was about to be fired.

Rio Arriba Sheriff Tommy Rodella described his actions back then as, “behavior that’s not acceptable in law enforcement.”

And since then, the state has revoked his law enforcement certification. So how did Mendez land a security guard job at the roundhouse?

No one would go on camera to talk about it, but KRQE News 13 learned state Sen. Richard Martinez from Española vouched for Mendez, and is listed as his first reference on the security guard application.

News 13 spoke with Sen. Martinez, and although he wouldn’t agree to an on camera interview, he did confirm that he was the sponsor for Mendez to get this job. He said he wasn’t aware of a lot of Mendez’s past problems.

KRQE News 13 couldn’t find Mendez to talk to him Tuesday. He works in plain clothes, and does not carry a gun, but he is assigned to help guard the roundhouse.

There’s no word if the State Senate Office that hired Mendez knew about his past problems. Officials who run the roundhouse wouldn’t tell News 13 whether any lawmakers have voiced concerns about Mendez, but sources tell us some lawmakers are concerned.

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