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Former municipal judge candidate sentenced on embezzlement charge


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A former Roswell municipal judge candidate accused of embezzling funds from a local law enforcement group was sentenced Thursday.

Timothy Davidson (Submitted Photo)

Timothy Davidson, 53, of Roswell, was given a nine-year prison sentence with all but 10 days suspended. Following completion of his sentence, Davidson will serve five years on supervised probation and be required to make $19,038 in restitution to Troop 13 of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol.

When he announced the sentence Thursday, Judge Jared Kallunki of New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court said Davidson, who told the court he works weekdays, could serve his sentence on weekends.

Starting the first weekend of November, Davidson will report to the Chaves County Detention Center Saturdays at 8 a.m. and be released Sunday at 6 p.m for five consecutive weekends.

The sentence was part of a change of plea agreement in which Davidson switched his initial plea of not guilty, on one count of embezzlement over $20,000, to guilty.

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At the hearing, Davidson expressed regret for his actions and the effect they had on his relationships with law enforcement, longstanding friendships and his own reputation.

“I have no excuse for what I did,” he said to the court before the sentence was announced. “I’m a good man, I just made a horrible mistake and I hurt a lot of people in the process of it.”

Davidson, who in 2020 lost a three-way non-partisan election for Roswell municipal judge, was accused of transferring $43,788.52 from the account of Troop 13 of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol and placing the money into three of his own personal bank accounts between October 2019 and September 2020, while he was the organization’s treasurer.

Court records state Davidson ended up depositing $24,750 back into Troop 13’s account before the rest of the money was discovered missing last October.

Kallunki’s sentence mostly aligned with the recommendation put forth by the state and agreed to by the defense. That recommendation called for a nine-year suspended sentence and five years supervised probation.

Ann Marie Lewis, deputy district attorney for the 5th Judicial District, said Davidson would also have to pay back the $19,038 in $240 monthly installments with “absolute zero missed payments.”

The recommendation did not include jail time. Lewis said that before the recommendation was offered she had spoken with Jason Holloway, chief of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol, and Ryan Lewis, also of the Mounted Patrol.

Ann Marie Lewis said that while the Mounted Patrol would have liked to see Davidson do prison time, the priority for them was getting their money back.

“Basically what they are telling you and for me to tell you is that he can’t miss a payment and they do not want this to come off his record,” Lewis said.

Kallunki though expressed reservations and opted to accept the recommendation, but with 10 days of the sentence not suspended.

He applauded Davidson for recognizing the impact his offense had on himself and others, but said that the embezzlement constituted a harmful violation of trust.

“I want you to go in there and I want you to go to the Chaves County Detention Center and I want you to understand and feel that you have made a mistake and to use that as a springboard,” he said.

Frank Patterson, Davidson’s attorney, said before sentencing that he believes Davidson will abide by the conditions and make the required payments.

He added that at the time of the embezzlement, Davidson was experiencing financial and marital difficulties.

“In all my discussions with him, he always expressed that the intent was to pay everything back, and I have no reason to doubt that, but the timing of it and the problems he was having did not facilitate that,” he said.

Patterson added that his client is well aware of the consequences he could face should he fail to comply with the conditions.

“He knows and understands that if he misses one payment the whole thing collapses, he’s back, and he’s facing not only (jail) time, but losing of his deferred sentence in this matter,” Patterson said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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