EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Otero (N.M.) County Commissioner Couy Griffin now has a federal charge against him and his colleagues say he should resign from office.
The federal government says Griffin should be detained until trial because he is considered a “danger to the community,” and a “flight risk,” according to federal court documents. And, county colleagues say he has only promoted his “Cowboys for Trump” organization rather than dedicate his time to being a commissioner.
New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas and Otero County officials are calling on Griffin to resign from his office.
“The people of Otero County deserve an end to this circus now,” a statement authored by commissioners Gerald Matherly and Vickie Marquardt said. “We call upon commissioner Griffin to resign his office immediately. If he does not, we will support the recall effort and the removal proceedings of the Attorney General.”
Griffin, 47, is charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful entry. He was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Albuquerque FBI Division for an alleged role in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol building.
A federal affidavit states Griffin posted a series of videos to the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page, in one post, that has now been removed, climbed up on the top of the Capitol building. In the same video he says he intends on returning for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
He said he would “plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Donald J. Trump if it boils down to it,” according to the affidavit.
Griffin told federal investigators he was “caught up” in the crowd and had no malicious intent.
He represents Tularosa as the District 2 commissioner and began his term in 2018.
During his time as a commissioner, Griffin drew criticism for remarks he made publicly and on social media.
Federal documents say Griffin was banned from entering Mescalero Apache Tribe lands due to an offensive video where he participates in a traditional Apache blessing and laughs off-camera.
“You better go jump on (an expletive) Democrat now … You’re protected now,” the documents say he said.
He has also stated “the only good democrat is a dead democrat,” before saying he did not intend it physically, the documents say. Another scenario is mentioned where he called on Black football players to “go back to Africa.”
His colleagues say incidents involving Griffin led to investigations by the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the State Auditor.
“He has refused to comply with state campaign finance laws,” his colleagues wrote in a statement. “His actions have consumed an enormous amount of time of county staff, who must deal with the drama he instigates at the expense of public business.”