- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A court is being asked to declare that the office of a northern New Mexico sheriff is vacant because he was convicted of abusing a driver during a traffic stop.

Rio Arriba (UH’-ree-buh) County Sheriff Thomas Rodella was convicted Friday of pulling his gun on a driver and violating the driver’s civil rights.

Rodella’s attorney has said Rodella won’t resign, and District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco on Tuesday asked the state District Court to declare that Rodella’s position automatically became vacant upon his conviction.

Pacheco says that would allow county commissioners to appoint a new sheriff.

The County Commission has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to consider the situation.

Rodella remains in custody. He faces up to 17 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 26.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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