New Mexico governor seeks replacement for 8th Judicial District Attorney

District Attorney Donald Gallegos, left, appears with Deputy District Attorney Ron Olsen last year. Gallegos is stepping down with a year and a half left in his term. Jesse Moya/The Taos News file photo

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office is seeking applicants who could be appointed to replace 8th Judicial District Attorney Donald Gallegos, who announced last month he’ll step down at the end of July with about a year and a half left on his term.

Gallegos was criticized for his handling of a high-profile case involving a the death of a child at a fortified compound near Amalia, a tiny community north of Taos, where five adults were found with 11 children and a number of weapons.

But he told The Taos News in June that is not why he decided to retire early.

Whoever is appointed to replace Gallegos will have to be elected in 2020 to remain in office.

The district attorney for the 8th Judicial District prosecutes cases in Taos, Colfax and Union counties.

People wishing to be considered for appointment to the post must be licensed to practice law, must be a resident of New Mexico for at least three years and must live in one of the three counties in the district.

“The governor is seeking an individual of high character with demonstrated excellence in criminal law who can justly and effectively administer the office,” according to an online listing for the job.

The online New Mexico Sunshine Portal says the salary for the job is just under $121,000 per year.

Individuals interested in the post should submit a letter of interest and work history to gov.applications@state.nm.us by 5 p.m. July 15.