Lake Arthur police chief on leave after Bloomberg News report | KOB 4

Lake Arthur police chief on leave after Bloomberg News report Web Staff
April 11, 2018 07:30 PM

LAKE ARTHUR, N.M. - The police chief of a small town in Chaves County is on administrative leave over a bombshell report from Bloomberg News about the town's reserve police force.


The report focused on wealthy businessman Robert Mercer, who grew up in Albuquerque but now lives in New York. Mercer is a hedge fund billionaire and, according to Forbes, is one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party.

Mercer helped fund President Donald Trump's campaign and invested $15 million into Cambridge Analytica, the now infamous data mining firm that inappropriately accessed the personal data of 87 million Facebook users to try and influence the election.

Mercer was also a member of the now-defunct Lake Arthur Reserve Police Officer Force. Lake Arthur Mayor Ysidro Salazar shut down the program last week.

That decision came after Bloomberg reported on Mercer and the Lake Arther reserve police program. Bloomberg suggests Mercer and others, like the bodyguards for the billionaire Koch brothers, volunteered there to get around concealed carry laws. Off-duty police officers are allowed to carry their weapons anywhere in the country.

Bloomberg reports Lake Arthur has a population of around 433. At the time the program was shut down, there were 84 reserve officers on the force. At the program's peak, there were as many as 150.

Lake Arthur Police Chief William Norwood is now on administrative leave.  The town council is set to meet Thursday at 7 p.m., and Norwood's status is expected to be one of the topics of discussion.

KOB reached out to Norwood but did not hear back.

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