EL PASO — In executive session Thursday night, Socorro City Council decided to take legal action against El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles and deputies.
We're told by Socorro Spokesperson David Garcia that these complaints are in relation to two raids, one of which recently involved five Socorro Police Department employees.
Sheriff Richard Wiles released this statement Friday morning:
"In view of the legally and factually baseless threat of civil action by the City of Socorro against the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and certain of its dedicated employees, I wish to assure the good citizens of Socorro that all investigative actions and/or arrests by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office are executed in accordance with sound law enforcement and constitutional processes. In the various investigations, completed or underway, search warrants and arrest warrants were reviewed by impartial magistrates after review of sworn affidavits setting forth factual information leading each magistrate to believe it more likely than not the allegations presented in the affidavits were true. Respecting indictments issued by the Grand Jury, comprised of citizens of El Paso County, each indictment is a finding of probable cause by those neutral citizens that the crimes alleged were committed. Naturally, all individuals arrested are presumed innocent until their guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is committed to investigating and taking appropriate action respecting allegations of a criminal nature. We take our responsibilities seriously and will continue to move forward without regard to baseless threats of frivolous civil action constituting a further waste of taxpayer money."
In a press release, the city says they'll hire a lawyer in regards to what they're calling harrasssment, official oppression, abuse of process, unlawful search and seizure and violation of civil rights.
They say they also want to recover original financial records and money.
They're filing a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union.