New Mexico

Taos DA announces retirement following critical newspaper editorial

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) - The district attorney who was widely criticized for how his prosecutors handled the Amalia Compound case now says he’ll retire. 

Eighth Judicial District Attorney Donald Gallegos made the public announcement in a Facebook post Wednesday, saying he will not run for re-election and will step down at the end of his term in December 2020. 

The announcement comes as Gallegos still has two years left in his fifth term as the district attorney representing Taos, Union and Colfax counties. 

However, Gallegos was also recently openly criticized in an opinion piece titled, “Editorial: Time for DA to retire,” published by the “Taos News” newspaper on October 5. 

The editorial, in part, blasts Gallegos for his handling of the Amalia Compound case, where five suspects are accused of recruiting and training children to engage in violent attacks against the government and other institutions. 

The five suspects in the case were originally charged in Taos District Court, however, DA Gallegos’s prosecutors failed to meet some basic deadlines in the case, resulting in their cases being dropped. 

Federal authorities eventually stepped in to hold the suspects on other charges. 

DA Gallegos responded to the paper's editorial writing in a Facebook post that he has taken the newspaper editor, publisher and owner's “opinion to heart” and plans to step down at the end of his term. 

Gallegos ended his statement saying he hasn't ruled out running for another office and has always been interested in running to be an assessor. 

KRQE News 13 attempted to reach Gallegos Wednesday evening by contacting the DA’s Office but did not hear back. 


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