OFFICER'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE THROWN OUT
Witness doesn't show up to trial; sergeant could be back to work soon
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Friday, November 13, 2009
[Excerpts] A Santa Fe police officer on leave since May after drawing his third domestic violence charge in five years hopes to be back to work soon, his lawyer said Friday, after the latest case against him was dismissed this week... An Albuquerque Metropolitan Court judge dismissed a domestic violence charge against LeBlanc on Thursday when a witness didn't show up for trial... Only one of two witnesses — both police officers — were present for trial and the state needed both to proceed... The department's internal investigation into the incident should be completed soon, now that the criminal case is over, Police Chief Aric Wheeler said Friday... The May incident marked the third time LeBlanc — who most recently headed the department's property crimes unit — has been charged with domestic violence since 2004. He entered the Metro Court's Domestic Violence Early Intervention Program in February 2008 after he was charged with misdemeanor battery on a household member for allegedly punching his estranged wife... He successfully completed the year-long program, after which the charges were dismissed... The victim in the latest incident was LeBlanc's mother... The officer's mother was not cooperative with prosecutors... LeBlanc was charged with battery on a household member in 2004 in Rio Rancho... He allegedly used an "arm bar" — also known as a "law enforcement escort technique"... He received a deferred sentenced for the 2004 charge, and the charges were dismissed six months later, according to court records...... [Full article here]
FROM ARTICLE'S COMMENTS:
- Hah! If he acts aggresively towards his mother how is he going to act towards citizens he pulls over? He will get his job back...
- ...What a complete shame! Why has this officer been allowed to even stay on the police department? Its pretty dang bad when you own mother calls the police on you for domestic violence. Did you relly expect his mother to testify against him in court?? Fire that abuser!!
S.F. POLICE OFFICER UNDER INVESTIGATION
The Santa Fe New Mexican and wire services
May 30, 2009
[Excerpts] Santa Fe Police Sgt. Michael LeBlanc is in trouble again. Deputy Police Chief Aric Wheeler said Thursday that the detective in charge of the property crimes unit is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into new domestic violence charges by Albuquerque police... This time, his mother, Leah LeBlanc, called police to say that her son acted aggressively toward her during an argument... Albuquerque Officer A.D. Chavez reported that LeBlanc, who had driven to his mother's apartment in his unmarked police car, admitted to kicking a cup of soda in his mother's direction... Last year, he agreed to enter a domestic-violence "early intervention program" in order to defer a judgment on charges that he battered his estranged wife.... [Full article here]
LETTER TO THE EDITOR THE NEXT DAY:
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009
[Excerpts] " ... How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see?" Bob Dylan's lyrics apply to the situation of Santa Fe Police Sgt. Michael LeBlanc, who has been charged — again — with domestic violence. To date, the Santa Fe Police Department has failed to take away his badge... How many times can an officer be charged, and not lose his badge? How many times can the Santa Fe Police Department turn its head, pretending it just doesn't see?... [Full item here]
COMMENT LEFT ON TOPIX "THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN FORUM"
Raises on tap for city police
Sgt Gillian Alessio, Albuquerque, NM
Aug 6, 2009
[Excerpts] I'm reading all the negative comments about the SFPD. I am a SFPD sergeant. People who have never worked in law enforcement do not understand how and why it works... We give up what people cherish the most: Christmas with our families, Thanksgiving, our childrens' plays, parent teacher meetings and birthdays. We give it up to keep our city and its citizens safe. If the people writing these blogs see it another way, I suggest they come ride along with our officers on some busy Saturday night. Watch us get battered and spat upon and treated like garbage because we are trying to keep them safe and uphold the law... Go to the academy. Work on the streets for 10 years for a community you care about. Then maybe, your opinions will matter.... [Full item here]
EXCERPTS FROM 2007 NEWS:
ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE THE NORM FOR SUSPECT OFFICERS
Santa Fe sergeant on active duty despite domestic violence charge
Leave: Police chief says officer faces some restrictions
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug 18, 2007
[Excerpts] At least four area law enforcement agencies would remove a police officer from active duty if the officer was charged with domestic violence. However, Santa Fe Police Chief Eric Johnson said Friday that he was sticking with his decision to let his department's head of burglary/narcotics, Sgt. Michael LeBlanc, continue working despite being charged with misdemeanor battery on a household member this week in Albuquerque... "I have placed some restrictions on him, but I can't talk about them because of personnel issues." LeBlanc, 34, was charged Monday in Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque based on an argument with his wife July 27. An Albuquerque police officer took pictures of bruises on LeBlanc's wife's arm and thigh from that incident... Also, court records show LeBlanc was charged with battery on a household member and assault on a household member in Sandoval County Magistrate Court in 2004. He received a deferred sentence at that time, and the charges were dismissed six months later... LeBlanc was not arrested either time he was charged with domestic violence...
S.F. NARCOTICS CHIEF ACCUSED OF BATTERY
It's the second time in 3 1/2 years, officer has faced domestic-violence counts.
The Alburqurque Journal
By Bruce Daniels
Thursday, 16 August 2007 01:59
[Excerpts] Sgt. Michael LeBlanc, current head of the Santa Fe Police Department's burglary/narcotics unit, was charged this week with a misdemeanor domestic violence count of battery of a household member... It was, according to court records, the second time in the past 3 1/2 years that LeBlanc has been charged with domestic violence... The complaint also alleges that [Santa Fe Police Sgt. Michael] LeBlanc pushed his estranged wife up against a wall three days after the July 22 incident... LeBlanc was not arrested... His wife filed for divorce in Albuquerque on Aug. 8... LeBlanc was charged with battery on a household member in 2004 in which he was accused of walking the mother of his older daughter away from his home using a
known as an "arm-bar," and
of threatening to shoot the pregnant woman in the stomach... LeBlanc, who denied making the threat or brandishing a weapon, was given a deferred sentence at the time and after six months the charges were dismissed... LeBlanc replaced Sgt. Steve Altonji, who was put on leave early this year after the U.S. Attorney's Office notified Santa Fe police that Altonji was the target of a federal grand jury investigation at the beginning of the year, The New Mexican said. Police Chief Eric Johnson told The New Mexican that LeBlanc will not be placed on administrative leave because the allegations against him are not as serious as those against Altonji....
POLICE TRY SHIFT IN TACTICS TO BOOST DRUG ARRESTS
Buglaries rise, drug arrests drop as police struggle to regroup after the loss of indicted narcotics agents
The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 16, 2007 -
[Excerpt] ...Rio Rancho police charged LeBlanc with domestic violence in July after an incident with his estranged wife — the second time in 31/2 years he has faced a domestic violence charge. LeBlanc, who is still head of burglary/narcotics, is set to go to trial on the latest domestic violence charge Jan. 8, according to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Court Web site...
EXCERPTS FROM 2008 NEWS:
COP ENTERS OFFENDERS PROGRAM
Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, N.M.
Feb 20, 2008
[Excerpts] A Santa Fe police detective accused of battery against his estranged wife entered into a domestic violence program on Tuesday, forgoing a scheduled jury trial... [Sgt. Michael LeBlanc's attorney Monica Baca] said after Tuesday's hearing that if her client successfully completes the court's Domestic Violence Early Intervention Program, the matter will be considered resolved...
PROBE TARGETS SFPD SERGEANT OVER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Spokespeople: LeBlanc joins intervention program; certification could be revoked
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
[Excerpts] The state Law Enforcement Academy is investigating the head of the Santa Fe Police Department's property crimes unit for two incidents of domestic violence since 2004. That's according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson, who said Wednesday that Sgt. Michael LeBlanc's police officer certification could be revoked by the Law Enforcement Academy Board if the allegations are substantiated... Because the previous domestic violence charge against LeBlanc was dismissed after six months and he received a deferred sentence, he is considered a first-time offender... Santa Fe Police Chief Eric Johnson said Wednesday that his staff is in the process of obtaining the paperwork about LeBlanc's case, and the police chief didn't yet know how the department will deal with it... Johnson took no action against LeBlanc in August when the charge was filed despite the fact a domestic violence hearing officer issued a yearlong restraining order requiring LeBlanc to stay away from his estranged wife. Those with protection orders against them cannot carry firearms, though federal law contains an exception for law-enforcement officers, Santa Fe's domestic-violence hearing officer Margaret Kegel has said. LeBlanc was charged with battery on a household member in 2004 as well... At that time,
LeBlanc refused to return his daughter to her mother because he felt she wasn't providing an appropriate home environment... Olson said the Law Enforcement Academy is looking into both domestic violence incidents in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office. Once the facts are known, the cases will be presented to the Law Enforcement Academy Board, which will decide if LeBlanc can keep his certification... Olson said he did not know when that might occur...
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