Sheriff testifies at ethics hearing

Sheriff testifies at ethics hearing

BERNALILLO COUNTY (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff is back in front of an ethics committee. Dan Houston is accused of using county resources to help his re-election campaign.

It was a private citizen who filed the complaint, but Houston flat out denies the claims.

“I would like to present to you guys, I think there’s more than enough evidence to prove that there was a violation here,” Travis Ogle said. “And the way the code reads is if there’s one violation, it’s all violated.”

Ogle claims Houston used his county employees, phone and computer to work on his re-election campaign.

Ogle called Houston to testify Wednesday in front of the Board of Ethics.

Houston’s attorney, Jerry Walz, says it’s all hearsay, calling it a political smear. He tried to have the board dismiss the complaint again Wednesday, but they wouldn’t.

Walz says his client did meet with his campaign manager at his county office, but it was related to church business and nothing political.

“I came into the office of the sheriff having never been found guilty of anything,” Houston said. “EOC, Internal Affairs, nothing and you don’t have a record like that without dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.”

Houston was Ogle’s only witness. When asked how many witnesses Houston and Walz planned to question, seven people stood up.

Were told a decision could be made Wednesday night.

If Houston is found to have violated the code of conduct, he could get a letter of reprimand or be fined $1,000. There’s also the possibility it could be referred to the District Attorney’s Office.

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