Former State Police officer sues police chief

News

The state’s top cop is facing a new lawsuit. The accuser one of his former officers, who was caught passed out behind the wheel of her truck, possibly drunk.

Otero County Sheriff’s deputies gave Jessica Turner a ride home instead of putting her in cuffs, despite her stumbling through her field sobriety test back in February. Deputies pulled her over on Highway 82 after a caller reported an erratic driver.

“This is horrible. this is the worst day, not just for you, but for the other cops,” a deputy is heard saying in the lapel video.

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 after New Mexico State Police notified her there was cause to fire her after its internal investigation.

On Sept. 12, Turner filed a lawsuit in district court in Santa Fe against her former boss, NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas.

She’s accusing the chief of discrimination; retaliation; and fraud against taxpayers. However, the reasoning behind the allegations is unclear because the lawsuit is sealed.

Turner is engaged to former State Police deputy chief-turned Magistrate Court Judge Ryan Suggs.

In June, Suggs joined two others in filing a lawsuit against Kassetas. They accuse him of making inappropriate comments to women, denying promotions and creating a hostile work environment. 

Suggs alleged Kassetas “made his life a living hell’ for speaking out against the police chief’s “unethical, inappropriate and discriminatory treatment” of State Police officers.

KRQE News 13 reached out to District Court Judge David Thomson to ask why this lawsuit was sealed, but our multiple calls were not returned.

State Police say they have not yet been served with the lawsuit so they could not provide a comment.

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