4 On Your Side: Petition calls for state senator to step down
Posted at: 07/17/2012 9:33 PM
| Updated at: 07/17/2012 10:18 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, 4 On Your Side
State Senator Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe County
Pressure is mounting on a state lawmaker to step down. KOB 4 On Your Side was the first to expose New Mexico State Senator Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe County, was in a police interrogation and appeared to be helping an accused child molester.
Since that initial investigation, an anonymous group called “Fire Abe Maes” is pushing an online petition demanding Rodriguez resign her position as a state legislator. The petition claims Rodriguez abused her political power and advocated for a deaf and mentally disabled man accused of molesting a boy on video.
In an interview 4 On Your Side conducted with Rodriguez last week, she said, “I went there to make sure he had adequate communication."
In a video released by the Santa Fe Police Department, Rodriguez is seen in the interrogation room speaking with the accused Jacob Pinto.
Lt. Louis Carlos wrote in a police report “Senator Nancy Rodriguez was escorted by Chief Ray Rael to the investigations bureau. The senator was allowed to speak with the arrested even though it is not common practice allowed. It appeared the senator was using her political influence with Chief Rael.”
Chief Rael has since publicly disputed the claim that he was influenced by the state lawmaker.
"I went there as a volunteer advocate, someone who has known Jacob for over 30 years and is familiar with Jacob's impairments,” Rodriguez said in an interview with KOB. “I didn't go there as a senator at all, that never even crossed my mind."
When questioned today about the online petition demanding her resignation and the police report, Rodriguez released a statement stating, “I have done nothing wrong. I have been advocating for people with disabilities, especially the deaf and the multiple impaired for more than 30 years and will continue to do so.”
Pinto, 43, was arrested on rape and sex charges in June.
He is accused of raping a 16-year-old boy in 2010. When police served a search warrant, they found pornographic videos and photos of at least 15 victims.