Santa Fe judge agrees to resign amid DWI charges

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SANTA FE, N.M. — A Santa Fe magistrate judge agreed to resign from his position as he faces charges for an alleged DWI crash in February.

Judge Dev Atma Khalsa agreed to resign after the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court.

The high court has to approve Judge Khalsa’s resignation before the governor can appoint a replacement for the rest of his term.

As a part of the deal, the commission dropped its disciplinary case against Khalsa. However, he still faces criminal charges.

Santa Fe police say he drove drunk and crashed his car in February. The crash happened on I-25 at the Saint Francis Drive exit in Santa Fe.

Officers arrived, allegedly smelled alcohol and noticed he had slurred speech. Police say Khalsa denied drinking and refused a blood test.

Officers arrested Khalsa and charged him with reckless driving and driving without a license. After the crash, the state Supreme Court initially suspended him with pay, then without pay last month.

If he is convicted, he faces 90 days in jail, a $999 fine and one year of probation. 

Voters elected Judge Khalsa in November. He campaigned on accountability, and issues he labeled as priorities, such as DWI.

During his brief time as a judge, he heard around a dozen cases related to DWI for things like revoked licenses.

Khalsa is expected to appear in court June 6.