The Latest: New Mexico district attorney refuses to resign
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the case of District Attorney Francesca Martinez-Estevez (all times local):
The lawyer for a New Mexico district attorney who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from a 2016 traffic stop is rebuffing calls by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas for his client to step down.
Jim Foy said Tuesday that Francesca Martinez-Estevez will not resign and that the decision by the judge was fair to issue a conditional discharge given that she had “an incredibly clean record.”
Martinez-Estevez was ordered to serve one year of probation for reckless driving and disorderly conduct.
Martinez-Estevez initially faced multiple charges after the traffic stop near Silver City and was accused of abusing her power. Prosecutors are appealing an earlier decision to drop charges related to governmental conduct rules.
At the time of the stop, officers thought Martinez-Estevez was impaired but didn’t test her. Internal investigations were done and the officers were disciplined for how they handled the stop.
A southwestern New Mexico district attorney has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2016 traffic stop, and now New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas wants her to resign.
Francesca Martinez-Estevez pleaded guilty Monday in Las Cruces to reckless driving and two counts of disorderly conduct. Judge Douglas Driggers sentenced her to a year of unsupervised probation despite prosecutors’ calls for her to spend more than a year in jail.
Martinez-Estevez initially faced multiple charges after the traffic stop near Silver City, including allegations that she abused her power. Officers thought Martinez-Estevez was impaired at the time but didn’t test her for alcohol.
Balderas said he was frustrated with the outcome and that the integrity of the district attorney’s office needs to be upheld.
Martinez-Estevez’s attorney, Jim Foy, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.