- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2020

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico sheriff accused of showing up under the influence of alcohol to a SWAT standoff and trying to order officers away is no longer a licensed law enforcement officer in the state.

The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board members voted unanimously Thursday suspend the certification of Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Academy Director Kelly Alzaharna confirmed the vote to the newspaper in an email.

A criminal complaint filed in March said Lujan, in plainclothes, attempted to take over the scene involving a barricaded subject in Española.

The complaint, written by interim Española police Chief Roger Jimenez, said Lujan refused to leave the scene despite commands from officers. The complaint also says he smelled like alcohol and appeared to have trouble keeping his balance.

Authorities say Lujan initially refused to comply with the arrest and was taken from his office in handcuffs by Española police officers and Taos County deputies. Court records show Lujan has been charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a felony.



Lujan did not return a phone message.

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