ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman he arrested for a DWI is no longer patrolling the streets Monday.
Officer Carlos Salazar officially resigned from the Santa Fe Police Department after a board recommended his certification be suspended for six months.
The Santa Fe Police Chief Raymond Rael says they never should have hired him in the first place and admits their background investigation missed some big gaps.
Now, the Santa Fe Police Department is changing the way they do background investigations on officers who apply so something like this doesn't happen again.
Their own background investigation on Officer Carlos Salazar came up clean during his hiring process. However months earlier, Salazar quit the State Police amid allegations of sexually assaulting a woman he had arrested for a DWI.
He denies those allegations, but did admit to later offering to help her get out of that DWI.
They admit to not looking into Salazar's civil history, which would have shown a pending lawsuit filed by his accuser.
They also didn't get the full details of the State Police internal investigation on Salazar.
Rael said when he talked to him about the allegations, Salazar's version of events was completely different.
Salzar also denied that he groped and exposed himself before the women he arrested when he faced the Law Enforcement Academy board last week. But he did admit to offering to help the woman get out of the DWI he gave her.
The LEA recommended a six-month suspension of Salazar's license.
When that decision came down, Rael says he asked Salazar to resign.
"[Salazar] clearly indicated to me that he felt this was unfair and that his conduct did not rise to the level of a six-month suspension of certification," Rael said.
The law enforcement agency will finalize Salazar's suspension in April.
If Salazar opposes it, he'll have the option to ask for another hearing.
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