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Judge Sandoval decides to step down

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Las Vegas Optic reports

There will be a new judge on the bench soon in San Miguel County, as a longtime veteran of local courts is stepping down.

A news release sent out this week from the Fourth Judicial District Court said a vacancy will be created on Aug. 2, 2018, upon the retirement of Judge Matthew J. Sandoval.

The official end of Sandoval’s service as a district judge will be effective Aug. 1. He hasn’t heard cases since last November, when health issues led to his taking medical leave from the bench.

Court and county personnel are adjusting to having two judges — Abigail Aragon and Gerald Baca — and fill-in judges from other districts since November. Sandoval was voted by Aragon and Baca in 2015 as the chief judge for the district; he’d served the Fourth District as an elected judge since he was first voted to the bench in 2008. 

He was retained in 2014, with about 6,000 of the 7,5000 voters, or 79 percent, choosing to retain him.

Prior to running for district judge, Sandoval, a former district attorney, had been the attorney for the City of Las Vegas.

Inquiries regarding more specific details of this judicial vacancy should be directed to the Chief Judge or the Administrator of the court. Unlike magistrate judges, those who serve in district courts in New Mexico must be licensed, practicing attorneys.

Dean Alfred Mathewson of the UNM School of Law, designated by the New Mexico Constitution to Chair the District Court Nominating Committee, solicits applications for this position from lawyers who meet the statutory qualifications in Article VI, Section 14 of the New Mexico Constitution.

Applications, as well as information related to qualifications for the position, may be obtained from the Judicial Selection website, lawschool.unm.edu, or by email by contacting Raylene Weis at 505-277-4700. The deadline for applications has been set for Thursday, July 5, 2018 5:00 p.m. Applications received after that date will not be considered.

Applicants seeking information regarding election or retention if appointed should contact the Bureau of Elections in the Office of the Secretary of State.

The Judicial Nominating Committee will meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at the Fourth Judicial District Court, Courtroom 3, in Las Vegas, to evaluate the applicants for this position.

The committee meeting is open, and members of the public who wish to be heard about any of the candidates will have an opportunity to be heard.