Socorro police chief resigns following leaked dashcam video involving city manager’s son

Socorro Police Chief resigns a week after police dashcam video was leaked involving the city manager's son.

KFOX14 has obtained dashcam video from a traffic stop in Socorro, where some people believe the city manager’s son received preferential treatment.

The video was leaked last week.

The City of Socorro told KFOX14 the police chief resigned Wednesday.

The chief has not said publicly why he resigned.

But, the move comes a week after Socorro City Council decided to investigate the leaked police video.

Socorro City Manager Adriana Rodarte’s son was pulled over in January.

As we reported, police said he was stopped for speeding.

KFOX14 also received a copy of the police report of the incident.

It states that Rodarte’s son admitted to drinking “two beers.”

Police said the officer noticed a white substance on his nose, which tested positive for cocaine, according to the report.

Police said there were no drugs in his possession.

The police report stated, “… based on officers training and experience, there was not enough evidence to charge” him with a DWI.

So, the officer called Rodarte to pick up her son.

Last Thursday, Rodarte’s contract with the city was up for discussion to decide if council wanted to renew it.

During public comment, the traffic stop was brought up.

Another Socorro police officer spoke to the responding officer’s actions.

"The officer who is an expert at DWI did not feel he was -- he would've flunked a DWI exam,” said the officer. "The officer, you know, that's his discretion to release somebody, and under normal circumstances, he would've done the same thing with any other citizen."

Because Rodarte was accused of receiving special treatment, she defended herself to council.

"Never did I ask anyone to do a favor for me,” she said.

Her contract was ultimately renewed.

Council also called for an investigation to find out how the video was released to the public without a request for it.

"We need to do an investigation, because we have policies and procedures in place,” said Socorro City Councilman at Large Rene Rodriguez. “Somewhere along the lines between our policies and procedures, something is broken."

Just a few days later, the city said the chief of police handed in his resignation letter.

Rodriguez believes council will be briefed next Thursday on the findings of the inquiry, to decide how council should move forward.

"We want to be as transparent as possible, but we also want to know who is asking for what,” he said.

In a statement, the City of Socorro stood by the officer’s actions during the stop:

The Socorro Police Department has received requests on information relating to an incident that occurred with a family member of the City of Socorro’s, City Manager, Adriana Rodarte. On January 20th, at 03:35 am, Mr. Diego Salais, 21, of Socorro, Texas, was stopped by a Socorro police officer near the intersection of North Loop and Inglewood. After conducting road side interview, the officer performed a standardized field sobriety test.
Based on the results of a nystagmus test, the officer determined that there was a high probability Mr. Salais was not intoxicated. During the traffic stop, the officer observed an indication of possible narcotic use. A search of the vehicle was conducted to determine if any illegal substances or alcohol were present. Neither were located. The driver was not charged and was released to a responsible party. At no time during this incident, did the City Manager ask for preferential treatment. The driver was released based upon the police investigation.
Individuals in any capacity who are involved in police related incidents do not determine how officers should respond. These decisions are made by the police officers based upon the evidence presented to them at that time. The Socorro Police Department wants to remind the public that driving while intoxicated places the community at risk. Driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense and violators will be charged.
If you suspect that someone may be driving while intoxicated, or any other crime is being committed immediately contact police by dialing 911, or the Socorro Police Department at 915-858-6983.
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