A disciplinary panel is recommending censure against Emilio Chavez, a Taos assistant district attorney who is set to begin his tenure as a district judge on Aug. 17. The panel found that both he and Eighth Judicial District Attorney Donald Gallegos abused their subpoena power by issuing subpoenas without grand jury or judicial authority. From the disciplinary recommendations, drafted earlier this week:
In issuing the pre-indictment subpoenas the Respondents may have acted with the meritorious intentions of gathering information with which they could solve a crime that had occurred or was occurring in their community. However, it is not acceptable for any officer of the Court, and certainly not one with the responsibility and power of a prosecutor to use their position to try to obfuscate the rules to the degree the Respondents’ improper actions.