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Judge gets $25 fine for trying to bribe prosecutor to drop charges against family member

By Mason White 3:05 PM March 8, 2016
Offering a bribe (illustration) 

By: Mahesh Sarin
People in New Mexico, are angry after a judge got off with an extremely lenient sentence for attempting to bribe a prosecutor.

On Monday, Shiprock District Court Judge Genevieve Woody ordered the judge to pay a fine of $25 and to retire from the bench.

Navajo Nation Judge Roy Tso was found guilty of abusing his office after offering a bribe to a prosecutor to drop theft charges against a family member.

Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of six months in jail, but Woody said that Tso is already paying for his crime because he was placed on unpaid leave.

According to the police investigation, Tso’s sister, his niece and a third person were caught red handed stealing items from a storage unit.

Tso was seen leaving from the scene of the crime as police arrived. Later that day, Tso called the jail and demanded that the three suspects be released.

That night, Tso called a prosecutor with a similar request, followed by another call and a text message. Several weeks later, the prosecutor met Tso’s friend who offered a bribe of $750 to drop the case.

The theft charges were never prosecuted. Before Tso went on trial, his niece killed herself and the woman who offered the bribe, disappeared from the state.