Judge Freddie Romero (right) swore K.C. Rogers into his new offices as Magistrate Court judge. Rogers’ wife, Mary, held the Bible while three generations of family members stood beside him as he took his oath of office. (Jessica Palmer Photo)
Keith (“K.C.”) Rogers was sworn in to his new post of Magistrate Court Judge for Chaves County Division 1 on Wednesday, by Judge Freddie Romero of the 5th Judicial District. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Rogers on Aug. 14 to fill the vacancy created by Judge Eugene M. De Los Santos’ retirement on May 31.
More than 50 people attended, including Judge De Los Santos, District Court Judges Steven Bell and James Hudson, District Attorney Janetta Hicks and other members of the District Attorney’s office, representatives of the Public Defenders’ Office Harry Wilcox and Nate Banks, Chaves County Sheriff’s Lt. Britt Snyder, Detective Dennis Kintigh and County Manager Stan Riggs.
Rogers remains enthusiastic about the job and will begin a crash course of education attending a judicial conference on Monday and then working with two judges in different districts. Rogers plans to run for the office during the next election. “If I am elected, then I will go to school in Las Vegas, Nev.,” said Rogers.
Rogers has served as a hearings officer for the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy where he heard cases of misconduct of law enforcement officers throughout the state.
Rogers gave up his position as the president and owner of ASPEN of America Inc. to take the office. ASPEN is a company he founded that provides educational programs for courts and other non-governmental groups. At ASPEN, Rogers developed an alternative sentencing program that uses education to combat crime.
In Roswell, Rogers has been involved in the DWI program and community strategy board. He told the Daily Record in a previous interview: “The average citizen who gets in trouble often doesn’t understand the law. This is what we in law enforcement see … that crime results from the behaviors people have,” said Rogers.
Rogers has many years of experience in law enforcement that he brings to the bench. He spent 21 years with the New Mexico State Police. After graduating from the LEA, he worked as a uniform patrol officer. In 1982, he moved to Roswell and became part of the NMSP Narcotics Investigations where he stayed for 16 years. He became supervisor of narcotics and moved to Las Cruces, but returned to Roswell six months later as supervisor of the Criminal Investigation Division.