ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Law enforcement certification suspended for six months for alleged misconduct as Las Vegas officer.
Shawn Montoya, 37, hired as Springer’s police chief just five months ago, has been demoted after his law enforcement certification was suspended for six months beginning March 26, because of alleged earlier misconduct while he was a police officer in Las Vegas, N.M., The Raton Range reported.
The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy suspended Montoya in March after hearing evidence of allegations that Montoya improperly used a police gas card for personal purposes while he was a patrol officer in Las Vegas, The Range said.
A law officer is required to have active certification in order to carry a work-related firearm and drive a marked law enforcement vehicle, the paper reported.
As a result of the suspension, the Springer Town Council removed Montoya as chief and assigned him to be the town’s code enforcement officer and animal control officer, a position that doesn’t require certification, according to The Range.
Until his demotion, Montoya was Springer’s only active armed police officer, but the Town Council last week hired a new officer who was scheduled to begin his duties this week, The Range said.
Meanwhile, Montoya faces felony criminal charges in Las Vegas in connection with the gas purchases as well as for allegedly submitting time sheets that claimed he was at work for the police department when he was not, the paper reported.
Twenty counts — 19 for forgery and one for fraud — were filed in Las Vegas Magistrate Court after a State Police investigation, and Montoya is scheduled to be arraigned on April 28, The Range said.