Rio Arriba Co. Sheriff returns to work after arrest

Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella

RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Rio Arriba County sheriff is back on the job even after the FBI arrested him last week.

The county manager says Tommy Rodella is refusing to step down. That’s because his attorney says resigning would give the impression he did something wrong.

The feds arrested Rodella and his son Friday.

It stems from a March traffic stop of Michael Tafoya.

Tafoya claims the two chased him down in their personal vehicles threatened him with a gun and falsely charged him with aggravated assault on a peace officer.

U.S. attorneys say their investigation found evidence Rodella did misuse his power.

The two are facing five counts each, including falsifying documents and brandishing a firearm.

Both men have pleaded not guilty. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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