LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The former deputy police chief in Las Vegas, New Mexico is suing, claiming the embattled mayor there not only passed him up for promotions, but says she’s racist.
In the small town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, some people already have a bad taste in their mouths as Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron is under investigation.
Last month, the Attorney General’s Office raided her home and city hall office for proof she steered business to her boyfriend’s company to line their pockets. But now, in a new lawsuit, former Las Vegas Police Deputy Chief Kenneth Jenkins is coming forward with more allegations.
“She couldn’t have him basically calling her out on her illegal misconduct,” said Merit Bennett, Jenkins’ attorney.
Hired with the department in 1999, Jenkins served as the deputy chief for two years until he became a whistleblower against Mayor Gurule-Giron. “He was constantly complaining about her mismanagement of her office to the detriment of the citizens of Las Vegas,” said Bennett.
When Jenkins spoke up, his attorney says everything went downhill. “He was not promoted to the chief of police as he was the most qualified candidate,” he said.
Bennett said not only was his client passed up for promotions, “This doesn’t appear in the original complaint, but the mayor is actually quoted as saying, ‘I’m gonna get rid of the negro,'” Bennett said.
The retaliation and alleged racist remarks made to higher-ups didn’t stop, and it got so bad that Jenkins couldn’t take it. “It’s caused him to retire before he wanted to, because of the discrimination…the discriminatory environment,” Bennett said.
Jenkins’ attorney is waiting for permission from the Department of Justice to file an amended complaint, which will include those quotes from the mayor. He expects that will happen this week.
The Attorney General’s Office has yet to file criminal charges against the mayor.