Friday, December 14, 2007

Ex-Chief's Divorce Messy

By T.J. Wilham, Journal Staff Writer

The daughter and wife of former Albuquerque Police Chief Sam Baca are seeking a restraining order against him, citing a history of abuse dating back 40 years.
Baca, who was Albuquerque's police chief from 1985 to 1990, has championed himself as a domestic violence advocate. He started APD's Domestic Abuse Response Team and has testified before Congress on domestic violence issues.
Baca, who was named police chief of Lakeland (Fla.) Police Department when he retired from APD, is also seeking a restraining order against his wife, claiming she has attacked him in the past.
Two separate hearings took place Thursday in District Court. The request from Baca's daughter, Jennifer, was taken under advisement. A hearing for Baca's wife, Vera, was continued to sometime next year.
The court has not heard Sam Baca's request.
Temporary restraining orders, though, are in place for the parties.
In court Thursday, Jennifer Baca told Commissioner Reed Sheppard that her father threatened her twice.
The fist time occurred Nov. 19, when Jennifer Baca met her parents at a Northeast Heights restaurant. Vera Baca intended to leave her husband that day and pretended to go to the restroom with her mother, who also was at the restaurant. She did not return. Jennifer Baca said she was threatened by her father after telling him that her mother was leaving.
Vera Baca filed for a divorce the next day.
"He told me that he knows the law," Jennifer Baca said in court. "He said that accidents happen and break-lines are undetectable.
Jennifer Baca said the second threat occurred when her father called her on Thanksgiving, about a week after her mother left him, and asked if she knew where his bullets were.
Jennifer Baca testified that she hated her father since birth, adding that she had been abused in the past by him.
Baca, who returned to Albuquerque in 2000, said he never abused his daughter or threatened her. He said he has always had a strained relationship with his daughter and that she was trying to embarrass him.
"(My daughter) is very vindictive," he said. "She would like to ruin me."

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