RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Department of Public Safety has suspended the law enforcement certification for embattled Rio Arriba County Sheriff, Tommy Rodella. It stems from his felony arrest last week, an arrest he now claims was out of retaliation.
The FBI arrested Rodella and his son last week which stemmed from the March traffic stop of Michael Tafoya.
Tafoya claims the two chased him down, threatened him with a gun and falsely charged him with aggravated assault on a peace officer.
In a recent court filing, Rodella claims U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez has a personal vendetta against him.
His attorneys say there are several witnesses who will testify that Martinez threatened Rodella with arrest and prosecution if Rodella interfered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife enforcing laws.
The Rodellas are giving the U.S. Attorney’s office until Friday to drop the charges or they will seek payment from taxpayers if they win acquittals.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it is not commenting right now about Rodella’s allegations or deadline.
As for Rodella’s certification suspension, he can appeal it.