Updated: January 19, 2021 10:13 PM
Created: January 19, 2021 09:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol riots, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas swiftly called on him to resign.
Federal authorities called Couy Griffin “a danger to the community” and want him to stay behind bars without bond.
Attorney General Balderas said he has substantial evidence in his criminal and civil investigations against Griffin, in addition to the federal prosecution.
"I will seek a more timely removal. In other words, I don't want to wait too long,” Balderas said.
"And now I’d like to disclose that we are concerned for the safety of employees and the other commissioners. Even local residents have been disturbed by the level of activity in Otero County,” he added.
Balderas said many people have come forward claiming Griffin bullied and threatened them.
"I think it's quite historic and also a black eye for the state of New Mexico that we have bipartisan support to seek his removal. I would rather him do the right thing,” he said.
The two other Otero County commissioners have spoken up and said the county deserves an end to this.
"There have been an endless series of incidents with Commissioner Griffin that have led to investigations by the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the State Auditor. Lawsuits have been filed against the county because of his actions," said Commissioner Gerlad Matherly and Vickie Marquardt in a joint statement. "He has been banished from the Mescalero Apache Reservations. He has made racist statements…His actions have consumed an enormous amount of county staff time."
"I wish he would do the right thing to save taxpayers the grief and cost of what it’s going to take to remove him,” Balderas said.
Many other local leaders have distanced themselves from Griffin.
KOB 4 asked newly-elected freshman congresswoman Rep. Yvette Herrell if she denounced Griffin’s overwhelming support.
Back in May, Griffin endorsed Herrell when she was running for her CD-2 seat.
"A great friend, a great patriot, and just an all-around great person in Yvette Herrell,” said Griffin in a video posted to Rep. Herrell’s twitter.
Herrell did not answer KOB 4’s question and sent the following statement instead:
"What Couy said and did was wrong. I do not support or excuse his comment or action in any way."
Attorney General Balderas said he’s confident in his evidence and has been successful in the past when it comes to demanding other elected officials to step down.
Besides the lawsuit, voters could also seek a recall, which would be an election-type proceeding.
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