The tiny New Mexico town that handed out police badges to dozens of out-of-towners, including New Mexico native and New York hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, is stopping the practice.
Lake Arthur Mayor Ysidro Salazar said he shut the town’s volunteer reserve-officer program earlier this month and is asking current reserve officers to hand in their credentials, which allowed them to carry concealed weapons in every state. The mayor put Chief William Norwood, who ran the program and served as Lake Arthur’s sole full-time paid police officer, on administrative leave. His status will be discussed at a future town council meeting, Salazar said. Norwood didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Mercer, a graduate of Sandia High School and the University of New Mexico, reportedly plowed $15 million into Cambridge Analytica, which helped both the Trump campaign in the U.S. and the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom, the Albuquerque Journal reported last month.
The previously obscure online data-mining firm has been thrust into the national media glare after revelations it harvested Facebook user information to help propel Donald Trump into the White House in 2016.