NM judge accused of misbehavior agrees to resign

March 1, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico judge has agreed to resign amid allegations of misbehavior involving his wife, a worker in the court, the state Judicial Standards Commission announced.

District Judge Eugenio S. Mathis, of Las Vegas, agreed Thursday to resign under an agreement approved by the state Supreme Court, Commission Director Randall Roybal said.

Roybal, director of the Judicial Standards Commission, said the commission petitioned for an immediate temporary suspension without pay for Mathis on Feb. 18, and for the past 10 days has been negotiating with him for a permanent resignation.

Mathis, 58, served in the 4th District, which has jurisdiction over [auth] San Miguel, Mora and Guadalupe counties.

The commission alleged numerous types of misbehavior by Mathis, including that he and his wife engaged in communications and conduct of a sexual nature during the work day. It also alleged that Mathis undermined the supervision of his wife.

A letter to Mathis from the commission’s clerk says the judge allowed his wife to conduct personal business, including shopping on the Internet and paying bills, during business hours; exchanged “excessive and improper instant messages” with her while presiding over trials and hearings; and let her read confidential reports.

In his resignation agreement with the Judicial Standards Commission, released Thursday by the state Supreme Court, Mathis denied a long list of other allegations, among them that he had engaged in “communications of a sexual nature” with his wife during the workday, “including intimations that he had or would be having sexual relations with her during the workday and/or on court premises.”

Mathis did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

A thick packet of chat logs, presumably between Mathis and his wife, were filed at the Supreme Court as part of the Judicial Standards Commission’s petition to discipline Mathis.

In the messages, the chatters talk about dinner plans, flirt, ask each other how their day is going, discuss paying bills and gossip about their co-workers at court.

The log shows someone making a comment about making “hanky panky” while someone tests the court’s alarm system.

“Don’t come knocking if the jury room is rockin’,” one message reads.

Mathis had been a district judge since 1992, according to his most recent evaluation on the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission website.

The evaluation recommended in 2008 that voters retain Mathis, stating that he received high ratings for being punctual, respectful of court employees, attentive to proceedings and familiar with his case load by preparing for cases ahead of time.

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