ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office swore in a new undersheriff on Friday. It’s a move that is being criticized by the rank and file.
Sheriff Manuel Gonzales of BSCO says swearing in Undersheriff Larry Koren was something he’s excited about.
“He’s always done an outstanding job with whatever assignment he’s had and that’s what brought him up to the top, his performance,” said Sheriff Manuel Gonzales.
This comes a few days after someone logged into the official BSCO Twitter account to publicly criticize the sheriff’s decision.
The tweet, “cronyism at its finest,” questioned Koren’s qualifications, but the sheriff continues to defend his choice.
“The most important thing is that we have a very qualified, committed, high performing executive that we have all the confidence in,” said Sheriff Gonzales.
Before his appointment, Koren was a sergeant. That means, he skipped a few ranks.
According to the New Mexico Campaign Finance Information System, since 2010, Koren has donated almost $1,400 to Sheriff Gonzales’ campaign — a donation the sheriff says did not affect his decision.
“It’s insignificant that it wouldn’t matter. I’ve never considered any of that,” he said.
As far as criticism goes, the new undersheriff says he’s not phased by it all.
“If I can’t handle somebody putting out a tweet, I probably have no business being here,” said Undersheriff Koran.
He also says skipping ranks does not mean he’s unqualified for the job.
“It’s an appointment. It’s not a promotion,” he said.
BSCO says it would not provide an update on the internal investigation into who sent the tweet from their Twitter account because they did not want to overshadow the undersheriff’s big day.
The original tweet was only on the BSCO Twitter page for about five minutes before the public information officer took it down.