Santa Fe Police Chief Wheeler to step down; Former cop Ray Rael to be interim-chief

Posted: March 22, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Michelle Gonzales Wheeler pins the "Chief's" badge on her husband, Aric Wheeler, at a June 2009 ceremony. Chief Wheeler's daughter Teresa is in the background. (Clyde Mueller/New Mexican file photo)

Aric Wheeler on Tuesday announced to city officials he is stepping down as Chief of the Santa Fe Police Department.

Ray Rael, a former assistant chief at the department from the early/mid 1990s who hasn’t been a cop in more than a decade and most recently has worked as an investigator in the city’s human resources department, is expected to be named interim chief Wednesday morning.

Wheeler, nor Mayor David Coss returned phone calls Tuesday.

It’s worth asking the question: Is the union going to regret getting what it asked for? Last month the union passed no-confidence votes on Wheeler and his two deputy chiefs — Abram Anaya and Robin Contreras.

Now, Wheeler is gone… Anaya was demoted a week after the vote… don’t be surprised if retirement papers are coming soon for Contreras as they already have for two captains (Gerald Rivera and Tom Wiggins) and one Lt. (Gerald Solano). Those retirements, the Anaya demotion and Wheeler’s decision to step down as chief is a major shake up of the command staff in recent weeks.

Here are two stories from Wednesday’s New Mexican with far more details:

  1. John says:

    Its about time. Why put a boy to do a mans job in the first place? The guy did not have the expierence to be Chief and was used by the Coss administration. He was nothing more then a puppet.

  2. fred stokes says:

    The news article says Rael was born in Santa Fe. Where does he live now?

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