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New Mexico judge under fire after lewd emails come to light

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico judge could get booted from the bench for using his work computer and work email to send sexist, racist and lewd jokes — lots of them.

The state’s judicial standards commission has seen enough. The group that makes sure judges behave wants Carlsbad Magistrate Judge Henry Castaneda off the bench immediately because of what he did on his government email account.

“He’s supposed to set an image and you know, if you’re going to run for office or for governor or president of whatever, you better make sure you have a clean slate and you have no skeletons because they will come out and be revealed,” said a Carlsbad resident.

A 51-page petition to the state Supreme Court outlines the offensive material found in Castaneda’s email, including a picture of a Christmas tree ornament with a picture of President Obama and the caption, “Now ain’t that a b****. Suddenly it’s okay to hang a black man from a tree again.”

Also in his email were depictions of the elderly, naked and sexual in nature. There was also a picture of a Muslim woman and her child in burkas, with trash bags next to them, comparing them to garbage.

In addition, there were invites to sex parties, and videos and pictures of naked women in compromising positions and jokes about rape.

All of them disguised with the subject line, “truly sad news,” or “just a reminder.” Castaneda became a judge in 2003.

When KRQE News 13 asked residents their thoughts Wednesday, they didn’t want to believe it.

“Do you have any comment on that?,” KRQE News 13 asked.

When asked if he believed Castaneda should be using his work email for these kinds of messages, one Carlsbad resident responded, “No, no. You know, you don’t use no work related anything to get where you need to be.”

KRQE News 13 reached out to Castaneda for comment, but he declined. Then, after attempting to get video of the judge in his courtroom, KRQE News 13 was told we were not allowed inside.

This was all discovered after another courthouse employee was fired for his inappropriate use of a work computer. That ex-worker then filed a public records request to expose the judge’s emails.

No word on when the state Supreme Court could make a decision on Castaneda’s future.


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