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Former Los Alamos County Police Commander Randy Foster is one of 48 applicants for the Santa Fe Police Department chief job, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, other candidates include Española chief Eric Garcia, former Los Lunas chief Roy Melnick, former state police chief Carlos Maldonado. Melnick and Garcia applied for the Los Alamos job after Wayne Torpy retired. The Los Alamos job was filled by present chief Dino Sgambellone, who came to town from Mansfield, Ohio.
Foster, meanwhile, lost his job following former Los Alamos Police Department Detective Brian Schamber’s involuntary confinement at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute for 10 days in late December 2012.
Foster, former commander Scott Mills and detective Paige Early then filed suit against the county, alleging wrongful discharge, retaliation and gender discrimination.
A scheduling conference has been scheduled for district court in Santa Fe on April 23.
Foster, meanwhile, lives in White Rock and is now a deputy with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales has formed a citizen committee to screen the 48 applicants.
The Journal reported that the committee formed by the mayor will pass on its findings to City Manager Brian Snyder, who has final authority to choose the chief. A City Hall news release said the city manager’s choice will not be limited to candidates presented for consideration by the screening committee, which will recommend up to five contenders.
Members of the screening committee are chair María José Rodríguez Cádiz of Solace Crisis Treatment Center; Miranda Viscoli, of New Mexicans for Gun Safety; Jack Sweeney, representing downtown businesses; Matt Martinez, of the local Police Officer’s Association; Jess Clark, representing the LBGT and youth communities; Joni Brenneisen, representing neighborhood associations; Marcela Dias of the Somos Un Pueblo Unido immigrant-rights group; and David Garcia, a civil rights attorney.
The new chief will succeed Ray Rael, who retired recently.