Commission postpones discussion on police chief

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

An executive session to discuss an independent investigation of a recent Taser shooting involving Tucumcari Police Chief Roger Hatcher was postponed Thursday by the city commission. The executive session was removed from the agenda by City Manager Bobbye Rose.

“It was a decision I made to remove the executive session from the agenda and postpone it,” Rose said.”I have not discussed the findings of independent investigation with any of the commissioners,” Rose said after the meeting.

Rose said she will not discuss the report from the Albuquerque-based Robert Caswell Investigations firm with the media until she has discussed it with the commissioners.

The Albuquerque firm was hired by the city July 7 to investigate the July 2, Taser-dart shooting of a 14-year old Tucumcari teen by Hatcher.

Hatcher has been on paid administrative leave since July 7.

Rose said there will be an executive session held to discuss any disciplinary actions against Hatcher at the next commission meeting or during a special meeting.

“Chief Hatcher can and probably will be present during that executive session,” Rose said. “We want to resolve this matter in a timely manner but want to make sure that we follow all the necessary steps.”

Other Items before the commission included:

• Approved an 8 percent increase to the city’s water rate.

• Approved a $33,683 application to the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps.

• Approved a Infrastructure Capital Outlay plan prioritizing the Capital Outlay projects for the city.

• Approved resolution opposing the changing of a rule which requires that all students in New Mexico recite daily the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

• Contracts approved with HDR Engineering for Phase III Wastewater Treatment Facility for $8,068,193 and Water Trust Board Ruse Project for $200,000.