Former state cop accused of driving drunk drops lawsuit against state

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The former state cop accused of driving drunk has dropped her lawsuit against the state. Now, her former boss said he feels vindicated.

One February night in 2018, Otero County Sheriff Deputies pulled over who they suspected was a drunk driver. The person inside the car during the stop near Alamogordo was Jessica Turner. Turner was a state police officer at the time. She was an Otero County deputy before that. The deputies ended up giving her a ride home instead of a ride to jail despite her doing poorly on the field sobriety tests and smelling of alcohol.

Turner was later charged with DWI and tampering with evidence for allegedly hiding her keys to get out of the arrest. She resigned in April of that year after state police notified her there was cause to fire her. Then, she filed a lawsuit against the state months later. Former State Police Chief Pete Kassetas, who was named in the lawsuit, said he feels vindicated by Turner’s decision to drop the case. “This dismissal closes a chapter in this sad testimony to New Mexico government corruption,” Kassetas said in a written statement. “I know I did the right thing in bringing the facts of this case to the attention of the AG, State Auditors office and media so the public would know how deep the extortion and corruption ran during Susana Martinez’s time as governor.”

A Larry Barker investigation revealed how the state made big payouts to state cops in the final days of the Martinez administration without properly investigating their claims. This was one of the last outstanding lawsuits by a state cop and the state’s risk management division told KRQE News 13 that no money was paid to Turner to drop the case.

Turner was prosecuted for her DWI, but a jury couldn’t reach a verdict. A new trial is set for April. News 13 reached out to Turner’s attorney for comment but did not hear back.

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