Roswell Police Chief Alfonso Solis expressed his pride at his appointment to New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission. “It’s humbling and an honor to be appointed. It’s a very important commission. … I will do the best that I can.”
Solis replaces former Albuquerque Public Safety Director Darren White, who resigned from the commission on July 15, the same day he left his job amid questions about his and the police department’s handling of a car wreck involving White’s wife.
The Commission is an agency charged with investigating allegations of judicial misconduct against New Mexico [auth] state and municipal judges and judicial candidates. Each state has a judicial disciplinary agency. The Commission does not have jurisdiction over attorneys, federal magistrates nor judges.
Solis said he received a phone call from Adam Feldman charged with the task of filling vacancies in state boards and commissions about two weeks ago. “He told me that two other people were being considered. I had to fill out a financial disclosure form and other forms. The State Police did a background check,” Solis said.
“I got a text from the governor herself last Wednesday asking me to send my driver’s license,” he said.
Solis received a letter confirming his appointment dated Aug. 18. The same day he received a call from Feldman informing him that Gov. Susana Martinez had chosen him for the post.
“I’m ecstatic I was appointed. I take this very seriously. I will serve with integrity and impartiality,” he said.
Solis has previous experience in internal investigations. “I was a deciding offical for the U.S. Marshal’s office nationwide, where I investigated complaints of people who got into trouble.”
Solis had to get permission from the city to accept the post “since it takes time away from my work here.”
Solis also serves on New Mexico Association of Counties’ Task Force on Mental Health. “It’s important that Roswell stay involved in state government.”
The first meeting will take place in October. He admits that he is still unsure about his specific duties. “We will investigate and advise on complaints against judicial officials and make recommendations to the New Mexico State Supreme Court.”
Solis said that the Supreme Court will make the final decisions.
The Commission does not deal with crimes. “I was told in the normal course of business, they wait until criminal proceedings are over. Then we may recommend either suspension or termination,” said Solis.