BARELA REINSTATED AS DETENTION ADMINISTRATOR EFFECTIVE 3-2-07

BARELA REINSTATED AS DETENTION ADMINISTRATOR EFFECTIVE 3-2-07

Assistant Doña Ana County Manager M. Sue Padilla has reinstated Detention Center Administrator Chris Barela, effective at 8 a.m. Friday, March 2, 2007.

On Feb. 20, Barela was placed on paid administrative leave by County Manager Brian D. Haines pending an internal investigation into Barela’s Feb. 17 arrest by Las Cruces Police Department officers.

The internal investigation revealed minor lapses in booking protocol at the Doña Ana County Detention Center when Barela was brought to the facility by Las Cruces Police. Barela was not found to have sought any special treatment, however.

Padilla said she has ordered additional training for the detention center’s booking staff to ensure that all arrivals to the facility are treated exactly the same in the future.

As to the charges filed by city police against Barela, Padilla said they are petty misdemeanors which Barela disputes. Barela will keep management apprised of all pertinent developments in his case as it moves forward.

“Doña Ana County will have no further comment on this matter at this time,” Padilla said. “Mr. Barela has the support of management and is fit to resume his duties. The personnel issues have been addressed, and will be evaluated further only if developments arise that merit further action.”