ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Did a judge let a city councilor off the hook on a speeding ticket? That’s what people in a one New Mexico city want to know.
According to court documents, when Roswell City Councilor Elena Velasquez went to her court hearing for driving 20-miles-per-hour over the speed limit the judge threw her ticket out.
The judge says it was because the police report wasn’t legible, but some people suspect it was something else.
“Why should they get away with it? I don’t care if they are a city councilor or if they’re the mayor,” said Billy Gubara.
Roswell police say Velasquez was cited for doing 50 in a 30-mile-per-hour zone in early March.
She pled not guilty and appeared in court.
Municipal Court Judge Larry Loy dismissed Velasquez’s case because the police report was too hard to read.
Roswell police say they had nothing to do with the dismissal.
“Once it’s in the courts hands it’s up to the court,” said Roswell Police Chief Philip Smith. “We do our job. The court is completely separate from us.”
Judge Loy refused to comment on the case.
Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh says there’s an easy way to avoid controversies like this.
“We’ve got to be careful to make sure those of us that get in elected office that we follow the rules that we don’t treat each other or allow ourselves to be treated different than any other citizen,” said Kintigh.
Kintigh won’t say if he thinks the councilor got a break because of who she is, but some residents have no doubt.
“We put them into office we can take them out of office,” said Gubara. “Why in the heck do they think they’re better than us?”
Velasquez would not comment on any specifics of the case.
She did say she had no idea people were upset.
This isn’t the first time Judge Loy has sparked some controversy in Roswell.
In 2012, people protested against him after he released an emaciated dog back to its owner.