Martinez names retired Army officer to N.M. magistrate court

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A retired Army officer has been appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to a vacant judicial position in Valencia County.

John R. Chavez of Belen will serve on the county's magistrate court. He succeeds Magistrate Court Judge Daniel Hawkins, who retired.

Chavez retired last year from the Army as colonel after serving more than 20 years in the military.

He earned a bachelor's degree from New Mexico State University and a master's degree from Webster University in Kansas.

Magistrate courts handle drunken driving cases, other traffic violations and some civil matters, including contract and landlord-tenant disputes, as well as felony preliminary hearings.

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