We shouldn’t pay for Aragon’s mess
Last Friday, Jeff Aragon officially resigned from his position as Los Lunas municipal court judge after the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court asking for his resignation, claiming he had abused his power, violated judicial rules and practiced willful misconduct during his tenure as judge.
And this week, Aragon will go before the village council asking them to authorize taxpayers to pay for his legal bills. We implore the village council to deny Aragon’s request and let it be known that his illicit actions shouldn’t be rewarded.
It should not be the responsibility of the taxpayers to pay for Aragon’s actions. According to the petition filed by the Judicial Standards Commission, Aragon allegedly misused his power many, many times. Although he has denied all the allegations, his resignation from the bench speaks loudly.
These actions include incarcerating a man for not obtaining a driver’s license, ordering a young woman to obtain a GED and another to maintain a certain grade point average. He also allegedly denied a defendant the right to an attorney and the right to be heard.
The petition only outlines two years’ worth of allegations. Aragon’s alleged abuse of power is shameful, deplorable and despicable. It’s a very sad day when those who we elect, those who we trust and those who we put in a position of authority deny our constitutional rights and shake our confidence in the judiciary.
The New Mexico Supreme Court rightfully barred Aragon from ever again holding a judicial office in the future. The court also ordered “that the respondent (Aragon) shall pay for the cost of deposition taken in this matter and all other costs permitted by law … in the amount of $1,284.”
Again, it is not the responsibility of the taxpayers to pay for Aragon’s mess. It is his and his alone. The Supreme Court ordered that he pay, and he should — all of it, including his own attorney fees.
His audacity to think that the village of Los Lunas taxpayers should have to bail him out is just another reason why we’re better off without him.