County assessor finds loophole to hire cousin


Why isn’t the Sandoval County assessor following the county’s rules on nepotism? Is the assessor’s cousin really the most qualified candidate for deputy assessor (as she’s claimed)?

Instead of just following the rules, our newly elected assessor has found a way to finagle them and appears to have squeezed through a quasi-legal loophole the county attorney created for her! Sandoval County has strict rules against hiring relatives.

The rules prohibit a supervisor from hiring their cousin. Rather than complying with our county’s high hiring standards, the assessor just up and hired her cousin as her deputy!

This is not a quality appointment. Elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

If an official starts their term by squirming out of county hiring rules, then what else will they renege on while they’re in office?

It’s a question of integrity. The previous assessor was challenged on his integrity and on not following county regulations.

That’s one of the reasons I personally supported, and even crossed party lines, to get Ms. Gallegos elected to her current position.

I went before the Sandoval County Commission and asked the assessor to voluntarily replace her deputy cousin with a non-family member. If the new assessor refuses to voluntarily comply, I asked the commission to either enforce the county’s nepotism rules or change them.

After all, if it’s OK for elected officials to appoint their cousins, then everybody should be able to get their primos a county job. I told the commission the action was now in their court and asked that they resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

It’s time to call out elected officials who spit on county rules. It’s time to demand that the county rules on nepotism be enforced.

Jean Montoya

Rio Rancho