- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico sheriff accused of roughing up a motorist has opted not to appear before state officials to challenge his law enforcement license suspension.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella did not attend a state Law Enforcement Academy Board hearing Wednesday for an appeal.

Officials say the move means his suspension stands.

Rodella doesn’t need law enforcement certification to serve as sheriff, although he cannot perform police duties such as make arrests himself.

Rodella was indicted in federal court last month for conspiracy to violate a motorist’s civil rights during the March encounter. He was pleaded not guilty.

The Rio Arriba County commission has issued a strongly worded letter calling for Rodella to resign.

Rodella says he plans to stay on.

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