Thomas pleads guilty to open container

By Freedom Newspapers

Clovis’ City Manager Joe Thomas has pleaded guilty to an open container violation and prosecutors have dropped a more serious charge of driving under the influence, court records show.

District Attorney Ronald Reeves was not available Thursday to comment on why the state dropped the DUI allegation, a staff member from Reeves’ office said on Thursday.

Thomas paid $100 in fines and court fees on Monday, records show.

Thomas was arrested Aug. 3 at a sobriety checkpoint operated by state police between Logan and San Jon. Police said he failed field sobriety tests, had an odor of alcohol on his person and an open container of beer in the center console of his vehicle.
Police said Thomas was transported to Tucumcari where blood was drawn within an hour of his arrest.

The blood test later showed Thomas’ blood alcohol content to be .04, which is half the legal limit in New Mexico. A toxicology screening received by state police Wednesday showed Thomas to be free of illegal drugs at the time of his arrest.
A call to Thomas seeking comment was not returned Thursday.

“It was an extremely bad judgment on my part,” Thomas told the CNJ two days after his arrest.

Clovis Mayor David Lansford has said he does not know if the City Commission will take any action against Thomas as a result of the court case.
Thomas grew up in the Tucumcari area, leaving for Clovis in 1972 when he was hired by the Clovis Police Department.

Thomas took over as Clovis’ city manager in December 2004.