De Baca County holding special recall election

CNJ staff

Fort Sumner — De Baca County voters will decide the fate of Sheriff Gary Graves on Nov. 9. in a special recall election.
The De Baca County Commission on Tuesday voted 2-0 to approve a resolution setting the special election.

De Baca County Clerk Laurie Pettigrew scheduled the special election after validating 385 petition signatures presented for Graves’ recall by the De Baca County Concerned Citizens.

“We’re pleased that the commissioners signed off,” said Concerned Citizens spokesman Dennis Cleaver. “Now it will be up to the voters of De Baca County to decide what happens to Gary Graves.”

Graves said he will fight the recall effort with every means available. His attorney, Bill Robins of Houston, filed a motion Sept. 6 in district court for a new trial in the case.

“I took an oath to uphold the duties of this office to the best of my abilities,” Graves said, “and I plan to keep the promise I made to the people of De Baca County.”

In an Aug. 24 ruling, District Judge Joe Parker of Clovis wrote: “It is the finding of this court that Gary Graves has committed acts of malfeasance and/or misfeasance while in office and that the petitioners shall be allowed to proceed with preparation for recall election if they so choose. The court has determined that probable cause exists to believe that the respondent (Graves) has committed acts of malfeasance and misfeasance while in office.”

The judge cited misappropriation of funds and maltreatment of prisoners as two of the reasons behind his ruling.
Graves said the allegations are false.

“It boils down to the same bunch of people who have tried to get me out of office since I was elected,” Graves said.

Graves has served 30 months of a four-year term.