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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Appeals Judge Pleads Guilty to DWI

Judge Robles pleads guilty to DWI
New Mexico Politics by Heath Haussamen  -  March 28, 2011

N.M. Court of Appeals Judge Robert E. Robles pleaded guilty today to drunken driving, and it’s now up to the Supreme Court to decide whether he gets to keep his job. Robles, who had been charged with aggravated DWI, pleaded guilty to one count of first-time DWI. He was sentenced to one year of probation, community service, and use of an ignition interlock device for a year, The Associated Press is reporting. He must also undergo alcohol screening and complete DWI school. Robles was arrested in Albuquerque in February after reportedly running a red light at 50 mph and nearly crashing his car into a police officer’s vehicle. Police say he had a breath-alcohol concentration of .20, nearly 2.5 times the legal limit. Following his arrest, Robles apologized for “an egregious error in judgment,” voluntarily placed himself on unpaid administrative leave and reported himself to the state’s Judicial Standards Commission.   Soon thereafter, the Supreme Court formalized Robles’ leave by suspending him without pay pending the conclusion of his criminal case. Robles appeared to indicate when he apologized last month that he intends to stay on the bench. He said he hoped his apology would be “the first indication of my profound remorse” and a sign of his “commitment to do my best to restore your confidence in me as your public servant.” Some, including the head of the state’s DWI Resource Center, have called for Robles to resign. He’s not the first judge to have problems with DWI in recent years. In 2002, District Judge Thomas Cornish of Las Cruces pleaded guilty to DWI and resigned. Two years later, John Brannan, the chief district judge in Bernalillo County, pleaded guilty to aggravated DWI and possessing cocaine and left the bench. Then in 2005, Socorro County Chief District Judge Thomas Fitch left the bench after pleading guilty to an aggravated DWI charge that stemmed from him rolling a state-owned van into a ditch. Whether the Supreme Court will allow Robles to return to work or remove him from the bench remains to be seen.

************************************ BACKGROUND STORY:
Police: NM appeals judge arrested on DWI charges
The Associated Press  -  February 17, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Appeals Court Judge Robert Eugene Robles has been arrested on aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving charges, police said. Robles, 60, was pulled over around 1 a.m. Wednesday on an Albuquerque street, according to police spokesman Robert Gibbs. He told The Associated Press late Wednesday night that Robles was held at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center and released on his own recognizance after 10-12 hours. Gibbs gave no further details about the arrest, but the Las Cruces Sun-News reported that police put his breath-alcohol concentration at .20, well above the state's legal limit of .08. Court records said Robles allegedly ran a red light at 50 mph and nearly crashed his car into a police officer, the Albuquerque Journal reported. A criminal complaint, filed with the records in Metropolitan Court, said the officer was forced to drive onto a sidewalk to avoid a collision. The complaint said Robles told police that he had been "just circling around" on a "sad and lonely night." When asked how much alcohol he had consumed, Robles replied "not that much," the complaint continued. Chief Appeals Court Judge Celia Foy-Castillo told the Journal that Robles has taken a voluntary unpaid leave of absence from the Appeals Court, effective immediately. Foy-Castillo also said Robles notified the state Judicial Standards Commission of his arrest. Robles was first appointed to the appellate court in 2008 and was re-elected last November. He served as a state district judge in Dona Ana County for 17 years until the 2008 appointment. During his tenure on the district court bench, he was elected by his colleagues as chief judge for nine years. The Sun-News said Robles, an Albuquerque native, was in private practice in Las Cruces for 16 years before becoming a judge. His practice has included personal injury, commercial, domestic relations and criminal law.


Toilet Man said...

Well, another example where the sh** runs to the top in the U.S. legal system.

Anonymous said...

What happen to judicial immunity?

Anonymous said...

This judge is not a very good role model. He must be punished to the fullest extent!

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