TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico judge has resigned and is under criminal investigation.
Court documents show she abused her position and stole from a dead man.
Pamela Smith was a probate judge in Truth or Consequences. She also is employed by the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigators.
Now her door is shut, and she’s closed for business.
Probate Judge Pamela Smith resigned from her position Wednesday, and the reason why has rocked the small community.
“That’s shocking for T or C. That’s the first time anything like that has happened locally,” said Twyla McBride, Truth or Consequences resident.
In March of this year, court documents state Smith, as an OMI field investigator, responded to the death of Dominic Domingo. Smith identified her husband, Randy Smith, as Domingo’s next-of-kin. Then as her position as probate judge, she opened up a case into the estate of Dominic Domingo.
Smith appointed her husband as special administrator, granting him access to all of Domingo’s bank accounts.
Court documents state Smith and her husband went to two banks to try and clean out Domingo’s bank accounts. The bank managers stated they needed a death certificate.
Smith and her husband obtained a death certificate, cremated Domingo and documents state the husband withdrew more than $280,000 from two banks.
Domingo’s family found out he had died when the Bricklayers Union wanted pension payments back. The family started asking questions and said they were never notified of his death.
Smith told investigators she did contact several organizations to try and find a next of kin, but all of the organizations say they were never contacted.
Smith told State Police they spent about $66,000 and the money belonged to them.
Court documents also accuse her of forging documents and putting them in the county clerk’s file once the family started asking questions.
Pamela Smith has also agreed to never be a judge again. She is still employed with OMI as a field investigator.