- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A federal appeals court in Denver is set to hear arguments in the case of former Rio Arriba County sheriff Tommy Rodella, who received a 10-year prison sentence for violating a motorist’s civil rights while brandishing a handgun.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1gBMwHv ) the appeal hearing has been scheduled for September 29.

Rodella’s attorney plans to argue that Rodella’s stop of Espanola motorist Michael Tafoya was lawful and that he didn’t receive a fair trial.

The scheduling of the hearing comes as the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque fights to seize Rodella’s assets to help pay nearly $150,000 that Rodella owes the government for his fine in the case.

After being found guilty, Rodella received a $200,000 fine and was ordered to pay $10,000 to the motorist.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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