New Mexico man asks deputies to seize DOT’s equipment, pay off damages

GLENWOOD, N.M. (KRQE)– A New Mexico man won a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation, but has yet to be paid. Now, he wants sheriff’s deputies to collect the debt for him.

“They owe me this money and they should pay it,” said Darrel Allred.

Allred is fed up with the DOT.

“I’m done with it. I’ve been at it for years with these guys,” he said.

Allred says his trouble began when the department failed to keep a channel beneath Whitewater Bridge clear. The creek runs right through Allred’s property in Glenwood, Catron County. It’s about an hour northwest of Silver City.

He says by failing to maintain the space below the bridge, the DOT put his land at risk for flooding.

The court agreed.

Yet, in the Summer of 2013, “They went in and started cleaning it out but then they left,” Allred explained.

Months later, floods ravaged the area, dragging debris from the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire along with them.

Allred’s hay field was destroyed, and flooding damaged a house and the ponds he used for irrigation.

“Had they completed that, I believe, and the court agreed with me, that it would not have overtopped and would not have further damaged my property,” said Allred.

Allred sued and won.

A judge ruled the DOT violated the court’s order by not clearing out the channel and, in turn, caused the damage to Allred’s property.

After it was all said and done, a court awarded Allred close to $450,000. But Allred says he hasn’t seen a dime.

“It’s embarrassing at best, at worst, that the state won’t pay its own bills,” he said.

Allred says he’s done negotiating. He filed a court document asking Santa Fe County deputies to sell off state equipment to pay him the money he’s owed.

“They can be treated the same way they treat me and that’s how I feel about it,” said Allred.

KRQE News 13 contacted the Department of Transportation. Officials confirm the Department has not paid Allred. They say they “the Department was not aware there was any urgency on Darrell Allred’s part until [Tuesday].”

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