FBI Probes NM Sheriff's Office

Apr 19, 2013

A Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office may center on a sheriff's program where citations could be dismissed in exchange for donations to charities.

County spokeswoman Erika Martinez said Thursday the investigation may be linked to allegations that Sheriff Tommy Rodella has been accepting scholarship donations in lieu of traffic fines.

Sheriff's spokesman Jake Arnold says Rodella won't comment, but Arnold denies that deputies dismissed tickets in exchange for donations to a scholarship fund.

Martinez says most county officials are in the dark about the investigation.

FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office haven't released any details regarding a search of the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office in Espanola.

Attorney Yvonne Quintana, who is representing Rodella, says the sheriff's office complied with the FBI's requests.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.