Former Sunland Park Municipal Judge Horacio Favela was sentenced to 18 months on probation Thursday for fraudulently voting and registering as a candidate for judge, the Las Cruces Sun-News is reporting.
In addition, according to the newspaper, Favela was ordered to take “introductory government classes” at New Mexico State University and speak to schoolchildren in the Gadsden Independent School District about “civic engagement, getting involved and why the rules exist.” And he’ll have to complete 150 hours of community service and pay $700 in fines and donations.
Favela, according to the Sun-News, told the judge during Thursday’s hearing that he’s not a bad or dishonest person.
“I want to apologize if, with my desire to run, if I put anybody through hardship,” the Sun-News quoted him as saying. “I’m an honest man, I’ve always tried to do the best for the community and if I unknowingly broke the law, I take full responsibility.”
The district attorney’s office had asked for a sentence of six months in prison and four years on probation.
Favela was convicted in August of falsely declaring himself a resident of Sunland Park in 2008 so he could run for judge, falsifying a document that declared him a qualified voter, and voting twice in the 2004 general election — once in El Paso, Texas and once in Doña Ana County.
He faced a maximum of 4.5 years in prison.
The situation came to light after Favela was elected a municipal judge in Sunland Park in early 2008. He was suspended by the state’s Supreme Court without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case, but he later agreed to resign and never seek a judgeship in New Mexico again.