Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

County in New Mexico, United States

U.S. county in New Mexico
Rio Arriba County is a county in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,246. [ 1 ] Its county seat is Tierra Amarilla. [ 2 ] Its northerly border is the Colorado department of state line.

Rio Arriba County comprises the Española, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is besides included in the Albuquerque – Santa Fe – Las Vegas, NM Combined Statistical Area .

history [edit ]

The county was one of nine originally created for the Territory of New Mexico in 1852. primitively extending west to the California wrinkle, it included the locate of contemporary Las Vegas, Nevada. [ 3 ] The county seat was initially sited at San Pedro de Chamita, and curtly afterwards at Los Luceros. In 1860 the seat was moved to Plaza del Alcalde. Since 1880 Tierra Amarilla has been the county seat. [ 4 ] The Battle of Embudo Pass took rate in the southern character of the county during the Mexican–American War in January 1847 .

geography [edit ]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a full area of 5,896 square miles ( 15,270 km2 ), of which 5,861 square miles ( 15,180 km2 ) are kingdom and 35 square miles ( 91 km2 ) ( 0.6 % ) are water. [ 5 ] It is the fifth-largest county in New Mexico by area. The highest luff in the county is the summit of Truchas Peak at 13,102 feet ( 3,993 megabyte ). The county acquired its confront proportions after the universe of San Juan County and other adjustments. [ 4 ]

adjacent counties [edit ]

National protected areas [edit ]

Demographics [edit ]

2000 census [edit ]

As of the 2000 census, [ 11 ] there were 41,190 people, 15,044 households, and 10,816 families living in the county. The population concentration was 7 people per square mile ( 3/km2 ). There were 18,016 housing units at an average concentration of 3 per square mile ( 1/km2 ). The racial makeup of the county was 56.62 % White, 0.35 % Black or african American, 13.88 % native American, 0.14 % asian, 0.11 % Pacific Islander, 25.62 % from other races, and 3.28 % from two or more races. 72.89 % of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any subspecies. There were 15,044 households, out of which 36.90 % had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.80 % were married couples living together, 15.90 % had a female homeowner with no conserve present, and 28.10 % were non-families. 23.50 % of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.80 % had person living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average family size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.19. In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.60 % under the age of 18, 8.90 % from 18 to 24, 28.80 % from 25 to 44, 22.90 % from 45 to 64, and 10.90 % who were 65 years of age or older. The median old age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and all over, there were 97.70 males. The median income for a family in the county was $ 29,429, and the median income for a syndicate was $ 32,901. Males had a medial income of $ 26,897 versus $ 22,223 for females. The per head income for the county was $ 14,263. About 16.60 % of families and 20.30 % of the population were below the poverty lineage, including 23.30 % of those under long time 18 and 22.90 % of those age 65 or all over .

2010 census [edit ]

As of the 2010 census, there were 40,246 people, 15,768 households, and 10,477 families living in the county. [ 12 ] The population density was 6.9 inhabitants per square sea mile ( 2.7/km2 ). There were 19,638 house units at an average density of 3.4 per square sea mile ( 1.3/km2 ). [ 13 ] The racial constitution of the county was 51.6 % white, 16.0 % american Indian, 0.5 % black or african American, 0.4 % asian, 28.0 % from other races, and 3.3 % from two or more races. Those of hispanic or Latino origin made up 71.3 % of the population. [ 12 ] The largest ancestry groups were : [ 14 ]

  • 20.6% Mexican
  • 15.5% Spanish
  • 4.5% German
  • 3.2% English
  • 2.7% Irish
  • 1.7% French
  • 1.5% Navajo
  • 1.2% Scottish

Of the 15,768 households, 33.6 % had children under the old age of 18 live with them, 42.3 % were married couples living together, 16.0 % had a female homeowner with no husband stage, 33.6 % were non-families, and 28.2 % of all households were made up of individuals. The average family size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09. The median age was 39.0 years. [ 12 ] The median income for a family in the county was $ 41,437 and the median income for a family was $ 47,840. Males had a median income of $ 39,757 versus $ 31,657 for females. The per caput income for the county was $ 19,913. About 15.7 % of families and 19.7 % of the population were below the poverty tune, including 20.6 % of those under senesce 18 and 18.3 % of those age 65 or over. [ 15 ]

Politics [edit ]

From New Mexico ‘s statehood to the early 1940s Rio Arriba was a traditional Republican county. That would late change and the county would become a democratic stronghold from the 1960s to the confront day. The last Republican presidential candidate to carry the county was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. [ 16 ] No Republican campaigner for governor has won the county since at least 1966. [ 17 ]
It is located in New Mexico ‘s 3rd congressional district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index rat of D+7 and is represented by Democrat Ben R. Luján. In the New Mexico legislature it is represented by Representatives Christine Chandler ( District 43 ), Susan Herrera ( District 41 ), Derrick Lente ( District 65 ), and Joseph Sanchez ( District 40 ), and by Senators Richard C. Martinez ( District 5 ), Carlos Cisneros ( District 6 ), and Benny Shendo, Jr. ( District 22 ). [ 19 ] current commissioners are :




First elected

Term ends

District 1
Leo Jaramillo

District 2
James J. Martinez

District 3
Danny Garcia

Scandals [edit ]

Sheriff Thomas “ Tommy ” R. Rodella [edit ]

Tommy Rodella was inaugural appointed to fill a vacant put on Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court by Governor Bill Richardson. Richardson asked for Rodella ‘s resignation precisely 4 months late after Rodella went to the county imprison in Tierra Amarilla to seek the handout of an acquaintance suspected of bibulous repel. Rodella refused to step down and was reelected to his judicial mail in 2006. He was then removed from the bench in May 2008 by the New Mexico Supreme Court for misbehave. [ 20 ] In 2010 Rodella was elected Sheriff of Rio Arriba County. He defeated many primary candidates, including then Rio Arriba Deputy James Lujan, for the Democratic Party nomination and then ran unopposed in the general election. As Sheriff, Rodella fired Deputy Lujan over allegations the deputy had interfered in a DWI case. Lujan then won a lawsuit against the county to be reinstated as a deputy in 2014. [ 20 ] [ 21 ]

On August 15, 2014 Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas R. Rodella and his son, Thomas R. Rodella, Jr., were arrested by the FBI on a federal indictment charging them with civil rights, firearms, and falsification of documents charges. The charges were related to a road rage incidental where the Sheriff Rodella and his son had assaulted a local anesthetic nonmigratory. [ 22 ] Sheriff Rodella was convicted in September 2014 of excessive manipulation of power, improper collar and using a firearm during a crime of violence. He is presently serving a 10-year prison term in a federal prison in Seagoville, Texas. [ 20 ] [ 21 ] Sheriff Rodella was then defeated in his 2014 basal rush to retain his function by Rio Arriba Sheriffs Deputy James Lujan. [ 21 ]

Sheriff James Lujan [edit ]

After defeating Sherriff Rodella in the democratic primary James Lujan was to run unopposed in the general election. rather of waiting until the January inauguration Rio Arriba County Commission chose Lujan to finish out Rodella ‘s term. He was sworn into office in early October 2014. [ 21 ] On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Rio Arriba Sheriff, James Lujan, was arrested and charged with two counts of obstructing an officer. [ 23 ] James Lujan was served a search justify prior, [ 23 ] and after he refused to provide the password to his cell call, which the warrant was for, he was arrested and charged ( As of this date U.S. Courts have not definitively ruled on the legality of research warrants requiring the owner of a telephone to give up their password ). James Lujan had been served a search guarantee in see to an investigation where he had interfered with an apprehension warrant being served on ex-Española City Councilman Phillip Chacon by the Española Police Department, a well as interfering with a search warrant being served on Española City Councilman John Ramon Vigil for his call by the Española Police Department. [ 24 ] [ 25 ] Lujan ‘s check pitted Española Police Department backed up by the Taos Sheriff Department ‘s SWAT team against the Rio Arriba Sheriffs Department whose main office is located in Española. Española Police officers and Taos Sheriff ‘s deputies formed a perimeter around the Rio Arriba Sheriiff ‘s office. Rio Arriba Undersheriff Martin Trujillo called Rio Arriba deputies to respond emergent and form a circumference around the Española Police officers and Taos Sheriff ‘s deputies. This resulted in the departments drawing or about draw guns on each other. Undersheriff Trujillo was arrested on August 14, 2020 by the Española Police Department after he was charged with criminal solicitation to commit assisting in assail upon a peace policeman for his actions in the confrontation between the departments on May 21, 2020. [ 26 ] [ 27 ]

former Española City Councilman Phillip Chacon [edit ]

Phillip Chacon is a erstwhile Councilman for the City of Española ( a city within Rio Arriba County ). He tied his opponent in his 2014 reelection bid and lost the election following a mint convulse to determine the achiever. He has cases pending against him where he was accused of the jab of one of his tenants. Española Police ‘s probe into this led to the seizure of his cellular telephone call by Española Police Officers. This led to the Española Police finding text to Councilman Vigil attempting to entice him into having the Zoning Director of the City of Española removed from his status over a property that was to be demolished but that Chacon wanted to buy. This led to Española Police investigating Vigil. [ 28 ]

Española City Councilman John Ramon Vigil [edit ]

In May 2020, John Ramon Vigil, a City Councilman for Española, a city within Rio Arriba County, was charged with three counts of felony bribery and a misdemeanor consider of refusing to aid an officeholder in joining with Chacon trying to garner favors from Vigil over a condemn house. When Española Police attempted to enforce a search warrant they had obtained on Vigil ‘s telephone Vigil called Sheriff Lujan for help oneself. Vigil ‘s defense team contends that Española Police went searching for person to give them a warrant after the First Judicial District Attorney ‘s office refused to authorize a search justify for Vigil ‘s phone because there was no realize allegation of any condemnable conduct and that “ This is outrageously fabricated against the person leading the feat to make sure that [ interim patrol Chief Roger Jimenez ] doesn ’ t become full-time foreman of police. Councilman Vigil has, for over a year, voted against interim Chief Jimenez keeping that job because of his lack of qualifications and integrity. ” Jimenez was sworn into the permanent headman put on May 28, 2020 after the Española City Council deadlocked in a 4–4 divide over Jimenez ‘s confirmation and Mayor Sanchez broke the tie in Jimenez ‘ party favor. [ 29 ] [ 30 ] [ 31 ]

education [edit ]

School districts [edit ]

Rio Arriba County has six public school districts. Española Public Schools is the largest .

  • Chama Valley Independent Schools
  • Jemez Mountain Public Schools
  • Dulce Independent Schools
  • Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools
  • Espanola Public Schools
  • Peñasco Independent Schools

Colleges [edit ]

Points of interest [edit ]

Communities [edit ]

Trick Rider, Rio Arriba Rodeo, 2013

City [edit ]

township [edit ]

greenwich village [edit ]

Census-designated places [edit ]

other communities [edit ]

ghost towns [edit ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

further read [edit ]

  • Dethier, D.P. (2004). Geologic map of the Puye quadrangle, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties, New Mexico [Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2419)]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Maldonado, F. (2008). Geologic map of the Abiquiu quadrangle, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico [Scientific Investigations Map 2998]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

Coordinates :

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