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Sanchez, Sam

Accused Party Type
Accused Party Title
Court or Office
Eighth Judicial District Court
Accused State
New Mexico
City of Complaint
State of Complaint
Types of Misconduct
Date of Complaint
Rating of the Accused Party
The attorney for the Taos judge facing accusations of misconduct for a mass contempt case said recommendations for the judge's suspension had "no basis" in a response filed Tuesday (April 12) in the New Mexico Supreme Court. Attorney Robert Crollett said his client, Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Sam Sánchez, shouldn't be punished for holding some 32 people in contempt of court in 2009, and said that the Judicial Standards Commission's recommendations would be "Draconian."

The commission filed a recommendation last month that the supreme court suspend Sánchez without pay for a month and pay 30 percent of the commission's expenses.

Crollett's response says that the recommendation for discipline had "no basis" given that the commission unanimously found that it "could not find clear and convincing evidence" that Sánchez' actions qualified as willful misconduct, or that Sánchez "misrepresented" his intentions to let the 32 prisoners go the day after they were jailed rather than the following Monday.

"Although Judge Sánchez' conduct may be negligent, there is no clear and convincing evidence that his conduct was willful," the response reads. "Judge Sánchez clearly had the power to do what he did."

Crollett also contended that Sánchez has already faced financial punishment, as he has "incurred attorney's fees in the amount of $76,925."

The 2009 hearing that led to the misconduct allegations was for a motion to reconsider the sentence of Dominic Bau, who was sentenced to 12 years after he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact of a minor for raping a 13-year-old female relative.

When Sánchez denied the motion, the commission's document said that Bau began "yelling out that the hearing had been one-sided" and that "the state's evidence showed the victim was not a virgin." The disruption then spread to the gallery, where Bau's supporters also began to shout and exchange words and gestures with the victim's family.

The commission contended that Sánchez held only Bau's supporters in contempt and that they were not individually identified and were held without a "definite term of imprisonment."

But Crollett stated in the response that case law cited precedent that Sánchez "was not required to determine a sufficient factual and legal basis to charge each person individually with contempt."

The state public defender's office petitioned the supreme court to issue an order for the prisoners' release, which was granted the day after the arrest.

But Crollettt argued that had the supreme court not ordered the prisoners' release, Sánchez would have followed through with his intention to release the prisoners the following day, a Friday. Crollett cited witness testimony from employees of the district attorney's office and court employees to support the theory.

The response argued that Sánchez had a meeting of chief judges the day after the incident, but that he told his wife and his former assistant Shena Cannon that he was going to release the prisoners that day. But when public defender Darryl Bouchard inquired about the release, Cannon was bound only to tell him what had been included in the court record.

Bouchard and Deputy Chief Public Defender David Eisenberg then went ahead and filed an emergency writ with the supreme court to have the prisoners released.

When Sánchez was served with the writ, several witnesses testified that he told Bouchard, "It's too bad you did this, I was going to release them today." Bouchard testified that Sánchez told him he was going to release the prisoners the following Monday, which is why the writ was filed.

"Clear and convincing evidence of judicial misconduct does not arise from a swearing match between Darryl Bouchard and Judge Sánchez," the response read.

The supreme court is slated to issue its decision in Sánchez' case April 20 in Santa Fe.


Judicial Corruption is rampant.  Our rights to a fair trial are a myth.  Many judges are totally corrupt.


Our fundamental rights have been taken away by a government of wrongs. Stolen by corruption.


Misconduct is everywhere. Dishonesty abounds. Perjury, subornation of perjury, corruption!


Abuse, Dishonesty, Corruption.  It's all common with Police and Law Enforcement.


Government Dishonesty is Bad.
We must find honest people
and make them accountable
to We the People.
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