By Jen Kastner
CARLSBAD, N.M. - Law enforcement in Carlsbad, New Mexico, is asking for the state to open up an investigation into the city's top elected official.
The Carlsbad Police Officers Association, a union, says mayor Dale Janway is corrupt. They're asking for him to immediately step down from office.
Detective Sgt. Allen Sanchez, President of the Union, says Janway has been trying to coerce officers into breaking the law since 2011. Sanchez and more than 60 other officials at the Carlsbad Police Department accuse the mayor of trying to persuade some of them into throwing out citations that were issued to residents who were "associated" with the mayor.
"That's against the law," Sanchez said. 'You can't do that. It's an abuse of his authority."
When NewsWest 9 called the mayor's office to inquire about the allegations, his secretary told us Ward 2 Council Member J.R. Doporto would speak to us on the mayor's behalf.
In a phone interview, Doporto told NewsWest 9, "Right now, all we have is police officers saying that he did this, but, you know, there is no evidence."
Doporto says he's seen some of the citations in question but nothing on them provides valid connections to the mayor.
"They were never signed by him. There's no emails showing that he asked any officers to do this. Now, it's pretty much hearsay," Doporto said.
NewsWest 9 went to the mayor's home and called his phone numbers but we were still unable to find him for comment.
Sanchez tells NewsWest 9 there is a chance that some of his officers could face charges or some type of disciplinary action, seeing as a few of them went through with the mayor's alleged requests and dismissed citations, but he doesn't believe that will actually happen.
"The police officers felt like they didn't have a choice. The mayor is the highest elected official in the city. He is the boss," Sanchez said.
Sanchez told NewsWest 9 that the city manager has been notified of the allegations. We're told the city manager will be responsible for reporting the information to the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.