ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The once strong relationship between Sheriff Dan Houston and the mega-church that helped him get elected is falling apart.
Houston has taken heat for his close ties to Legacy Church.
He used to be the head of security and he held BCSO graduation and promotion ceremonies there until last year.
Still, he has always maintained he keeps his church and job as sheriff separate.
"I don't mix my religion with my job as sheriff. I understand the boundaries, I never have. There is no one who can accuse me of that," said Houston in 2012.
But now, the sheriff is taking heat from the church itself because of a Facebook post in which he accuses the Legacy Church of betrayal.
In a post that has since been removed, the sheriff wrote, "there is a movement within my own church by a few to unseat me as Sheriff and give support for the position to someone else. For me it is betrayal."
Pastor Steve Smothermon, the leader of Legacy Church said the post caught him off guard and that he denies any sort of movement to unseat Houston.
"I don't know why he used those words, but I can guarantee you there's no betrayal here," Pastor Steve Smothermon said. "A lot of people run for office that come to this church and they have a right to do that and if that's a movement, that's unfortunate because I thought that was democracy."
While Smothermon said he cannot speak to why Houston feels the way he does or wrote what he wrote, he said he let Houston know he will not be supporting his re-election effort.
"I think some off the statements he's made in the past has caused me a lot of pause and as a pastor, I want to treat people well. I mean, that's what we do here at Legacy Church," he said.
According to a lawsuit filed by the sheriff's former attorney and spokesperson, Houston called a secretary a fat slob and made another comment doubting another employee could have breast cancer because, "her breasts are so small."
The sheriff denied the allegations and appears to defend himself in the Facebook post saying he "never violated any moral or criminal laws as Sheriff."
Houston did not want to do an on-camera interview for News 13's story, but he said that he stands by his Facebook post and that every wood of it was true.
As for his standing with the church, Smothermon said, "We'll see."
The pastor said he did reach out to Houston about the Facebook post, but that he did not get a response.
The sheriff removed the Facebook post shortly after he put it up saying it was because others started posting their own agendas.
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