Appeal hearing set for former sheriff in civil rights case

News

SANTA FE (AP) – A federal appeals court in Denver is set to hear arguments in the case of former Rio Arriba County sheriff Tommy Rodella, who received a 10-year prison sentence for violating a motorist’s civil rights while brandishing a handgun.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the appeal hearing has been scheduled for September 29.

Rodella’s attorney plans to argue that Rodella’s stop of Espanola motorist Michael Tafoya was lawful and that he didn’t receive a fair trial.

The scheduling of the hearing comes as the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque fights to seize Rodella’s assets to help pay nearly $150,000 that Rodella owes the government for his fine in the case.

After being found guilty, Rodella received a $200,000 fine and was ordered to pay $10,000 to the motorist.

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