Panel says Taos prosecutors should be cleared of misconduct

Judges gavel

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A New Mexico Supreme Court disciplinary panel says misconduct charges should be dismissed against Taos County District Attorney Donald Gallegos and his top assistant.

The recommendation issued Thursday could end the misconduct case brought last year for the prosecutors’ use of subpoenas without judicial oversight. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1zodR2A) the issue was whether prosecutors had improperly become investigators before anyone had been charged or named in criminal proceedings.

Most of the subpoenas were issued as assistant prosecutor Emilio Chavez was investigating a robbery of the electrical cooperative in Taos. Charges were dismissed against a suspect after a judge found prosecutorial misconduct.

The disciplinary panel’s recommendation can be appealed but Gallegos says he’s pleased with the outcome.

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