Internal review outlines judge's actions in man eluding ICE agen - KPTV - FOX 12

Internal review outlines judge's actions in man eluding ICE agents outside courtroom

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Judge Monica Herranz (Courtesy: LinkedIn) Judge Monica Herranz (Courtesy: LinkedIn)
Diddier Pacheco-Salazar, jail booking photo Diddier Pacheco-Salazar, jail booking photo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An internal review outlines what took place the day a Multnomah County judge was accused of helping a DUII suspect escape from ICE agents waiting outside the courtroom.

On Jan. 27, Diddier Pacheco-Salazar appeared before Judge Monica Herranz in a DUII case. U.S. Attorney Billy Williams claimed Herranz allowed Salazar to leave through her private entrance.

An internal review by trial court administrator Barbara Marcille states that was not the case.

The report, dated May 16, states Marcille reviewed surveillance video and interviewed the judge, staff, an attorney, an interpreter and the deputies who were in the courtroom that day.

The video showed four ICE agents arriving in the courthouse in plain clothes. At no time did they have any contact with Herranz or notify anyone they were there to detain Pacheco-Salazar, according to Marcille's report.

During the proceedings, the attorney for Pacheco-Salazar asked the judge to have a "side bar conversation," which, the report states, "occur with regularity to discuss resolution of matters off the record; these conversations are not recorded."

The attorney told Herranz that ICE agents were in the hallway stopping Hispanic people to ask for documentation and he requested his client, who spoke Spanish and did not have his documents, be allowed to leave through an exit at the back of the courtroom to avoid interaction with the agents.

The hearing took place two days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration enforcement. 

In response to a statement made by someone else, Herranz was heard on the record stating, "Well then we don't want him to go back out there."

Herranz was not told that Pacheco-Salazar was in the country illegally, according to the internal review.

The report states a representative of the district attorney's office was asked if he had any objection and he said he did not.

"There is no policy that prohibits the use of the door at the back of the courtroom by persons other than judges and employees. That door opens into a hallway that is accessible by other members of the public, not into a secure area," according to the report.

Those in the courtroom who were interviewed for the internal investigation did not view this as an "extraordinary incident" and did not question why Pacheco-Salazar didn't leave through the main doors, according to Marcille's report.

"Based on the information available to me, I have concluded that Mr. Pacheco-Salazar did use a door other than the main court doors to exit the courtroom, but I do not believe that Judge Herranz took actions or consented to conduct that she knew or understood would result in an undocumented immigrant evading detention by ICE agents that were present in the courthouse specifically to take him into custody," the report concludes.

ICE and the U.S. Department of Justice previously declined to pursue a bar complaint or criminal investigation against Herranz.

Pacheco-Salazar was arrested two weeks after appearing in Herranz's courtroom and was taken to the ICE detention center in Tacoma.

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