DA letter describes ‘strained’ relationship with Las Cruces

Las Cruces police department

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – Dona Ana County’s district attorney has issued a scathing letter to the Las Cruces Police Department after learning of alleged problems with the department’s investigation into the fatal shooting of a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputy in Las Cruces.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports District Attorney Mark D’Antonio’s letter to police Chief Jaime Montoya accuses the department of maintaining a culture of disrespect and undeserved criticism toward his office.

The Tuesday letter follows Detective Irma Palos’ lawsuit alleging her investigation into the 2014 fatal shooting was obstructed by her supervisors.

D’Antonio says he had not been informed by the department of Palos’ lawsuit, which was filed in October.

Las Cruces City Manager Stuart Ed said he will work to improve communications between D’Antonio’s office and the Police Department.