Jemez Springs dumps police chief after double ID incident

Created: 02/13/2014 11:42 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

The town of Jemez Springs, N.M., is searching for a new police chief amid controversy surrounding their former chief and his two names.

Last month, former chief Shane Harger says he was harassed by TSA agents at the Albuquerque Sunport. He said they questioned the name on his boarding pass because it was different from the name on his driver's license.

But Harger says the reason he changed his name had a lot to do with a high-profile investigation. When Harger served as a Valencia County deputy, he was the first responder at Albuquerque officer Levi Chavez's home on the night his wife was found dead.

Tera Chavez's death was ruled a suicide, but Levi Chavez was later accused of killing her and stood trial. He was acquitted of the murder charge last July.

After the TSA incident, the Jemez Springs village council put Harger on desk duty until they could figure out what happened at the Sunport. But Harger's story spread quickly online after he told a radio show he was harassed by federal agents and put on administrative leave due to his "political affiliations."

At a meeting two weeks ago, one village councilor accused Harger of whipping the town into frenzy by saying the council was against him because they put him on desk duty. Councilors said they did it over legal matters.

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