Candidate for Los Alamos County Sheriff, Chris Luchini, awaits his turn to speak at a recent candidates’ forum. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Candidate for Los Alamos County Sheriff Chris Luchini says his campaign’s main focus has been on making sure that the County has a sheriff.
“I strongly believe that we need to have an elected representative of law enforcement available to community members in this community like every other county in New Mexico does,” he told a recent candidates’ forum. “A decision was reached in a lawsuit a couple of months ago that has already been appealed and should be schedule should be say any day now when Supreme Court is going to hear the suit.”
The suit is about deciding what authority the County has to limit the office of the sheriff, Luchini said.
“I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV. My opinions on the law are pretty much irrelevant. It’s up to the judges – the Appellate Court and I think the Supreme Court to decide to what extent the County can limit the powers of the sheriff,” he said. “Whatever that decision is at that particular time, I pledge to follow whatever that ruling is.”
He said currently the sheriff has the duties of maintaining the sex offender registry and serving civil process.
If the Appellate Court decides differently and expands those duties to include many of the other six major duties that are outlined in state statute, I will execute those as well. I don’t intend to try to expand the powers and duties of the sheriff beyond what the court and/or statutory limits are. Nor do I intend to reduce them down to a ceremonial position,” Luchini said.
“I think it’s very important that you choose somebody who is going to keep the sheriff’s department as it is actually intended to be. It’s not a social service organization. You’re more than welcome to do those things on your own time,” he said. “He added that he is a volunteer instructor and has donated his time for many weekends for concealed carry classes on a non-profit basis and that those classes are all done by donation.
“All these things are wonderful but they’re not part of the duty of the sheriff of the community,” he said.