City attorney says Las Cruces ready to post opening for vacant inspector general job

Las Cruces City Attorney Jennifer Vega attends a <a href=city council meeting at Las Cruces City Hall on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/9AxiwuUsxvp.9R5QuT6HLg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/9aXtTaYw8F_3gsGr8zmYUA–~B/aD0yMjAzO3c9MzMwNTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/las-cruces-sun-news/a5298e4b4c23becb62f59c27c0fa7f07″/

Las Cruces City Attorney Jennifer Vega attends a city council meeting at Las Cruces City Hall on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.

LAS CRUCES — The City of Las Cruces is one step closer to filling a position that’s been empty for more than three and a half years.

During a Las Cruces City Council work session July 11, City Attorney Jennifer Vega said the municipality is ready to post the job opening for an inspector general.

The IG position was created in November 2018, when the city council passed the Accountability in Government Ordinance, though it’s never been filled.

The ordinance requires the city to employ a “full-time” IG in its legal department. The ordinance also sets the IG’s minimum qualifications, authority and responsibilities and limitations on their power.

The Sun-News asked the city attorney and City Manager Ifo Pili about the delay in filling the position in January. The number of work hours required, the position’s salary and the IG’s required independence from city administration were all reasons given for delaying the job being posted.

Former Las Cruces City Councilor Jack Eakman, seen here July 1, 2019, now chairs the City of Las Cruces' Oversight Committee.

Former Las Cruces City Councilor Jack Eakman, seen here July 1, 2019, now chairs the City of Las Cruces’ Oversight Committee.

The inspector general can investigate city employees, elected and appointed officials, municipal agencies, contractors or any other party doing business with the city or receiving city funds. The IG cannot investigate matters under police or fire department internal affairs. The IG can begin an investigation independently or in response to a complaint.

The IG has the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, require the production of records in line with the rules of civil procedure and refer suspicions of criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors or law enforcement. In most

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