Ex-Mora sheriff arrested

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Police: Cordova got into fight at Guadalupita

By Tom McDonald

Last year’s Mora County sheriff was arrested along with another man following an alleged fight Friday.

Ex-Sheriff Roy Cordova, 39, of Rainsville and John Gonzales, 34, of Guadalupita were involved in a altercation alongside Highway 434 in Guadalupita, according to a probable cause statement filed by state police officer Frank Chavez. Both men were charged with aggravated battery, resisting, evading or obstructing arrest and public affray after the new Mora County sheriff, Thomas Garza, attempted to break up the fight, Chavez reported.

According to both suspects, the fight stemmed from an encounter earlier in the day when the two men saw each other at a transfer station near Mora, where a verbal altercation took place. Toward the end of the day, Cordova arrived at his girlfriend’s property adjacent to Gonzales’ property, the report stated.

The two men then met on the side of the highway and began fighting, with each one reportedly claiming the other started it.

Garza stated that he was heading home when he saw several people on the side of the highway, with two men that he later recognized as Cordova and Gonzales fighting. He said he saw Cordova throw a rock at Gonzales, hitting him, and both men exchanged punches. Garza reported that the suspects fell down with Cordova on top  and continuing to punch Gonzales in the face.

The sheriff said he tried to separate the men and “observed a female who was later identified as Roseann Rodriquez, kicking Mr. Gonzales near the facial and head area.” Garza said he eventually separated the men with the help of Gonzales’ family.

Both men were booked. Mora Magistrate Judge John Sanchez set a cash bond at $6,000 each.

Cordova has been in the news a lot lately. After losing his bid for re-election last year, he got a job as a sheriff’s deputy in Valencia County about two hours away, but he refused to step down as Mora County sheriff — despite the County Commission’s urging that he resign from his Valencia County job. Instead, he kept his job in Mora and continued to collect on his $40,000-plus annual salary.

Then, in November, Cordova resigned his Valencia County job after he allegedly hit a guardrail with a squad car, then refused to take an alcohol breath test.