Last year’s Republican candidate for state auditor Errol Chavez has died. He had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer just a few weeks before the 2010 election.
Chavez, who was raised in Española, talked to me for an hour after then GOP Chairman Harvey Yates announced his candidacy last January and said wanted “to save the money the state is losing by going after people who are corrupt.”
Balderas beat Chavez by more than 60,000 votes.
The former DEA agent, who originally planned to run for public land commissioner, worked 31 years for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where he managed money laundering investigations; directed the administration’s policy implementation in Europe, Latin America and the United States; and supervised several hundred agents in various assignments.
After retiring from DEA, Chavez became the executive director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a federal drug-prohibition enforcement program. In this position, Chavez was responsible for administering and auditing $11 million of federal funds directed to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in New Mexico.
Chavez served as president of both the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association and the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, an international law enforcement organization with 12,000 members.
Senator Ingle, who asked for a moment of silence to remember Chavez in Santa Fe this morning, said the state of New Mexico “appreciated Chavez’ willingness to serve the public his entire life. He said the state and the country is grateful to Errol Chavez”
Funeral services are still pending.