ALBUQUERQUE NM April 8 2012 – A former Santa Fe police officer admitted Thursday to stalking and harassing three women while on duty, as well as stealing marijuana from a man he stopped for a traffic violation.
Former Sgt. Michael Eiskant, 41, also pleaded no contest to two charges of attempted false imprisonment related to a traffic stop he made in March 2011 in Albuquerque, which was a long way from his jurisdiction. Finally, Eiskant, who resigned from the Santa Fe Police Department in January, admitted to misusing a law enforcement database to gain information about two citizens.
“I just want to do the best I can from here on out,” Eiskant said after entering the pleas in Albuquerque District Court.
News 13 first told viewers about Eiskant back in January, when On Special Assignment reporter Dean Staley detailed numerous complaints filed by citizens over the years. One man complained of Eiskant’s “bullying nature” and said he was “very upset and highly volatile. ” Another said Eiskant pointed a gun at him while off-duty and said, “I can’t wait to get you when I’m on duty.”
However, the most serious allegations against the former officer concerned a pattern of using his authority to harass women.
In 2004, a woman claimed Eiskant pulled her over five times in two years and repeatedly demanded sex. Another woman who spoke anonymously to News 13 said she briefly dated Eiskant in 2002 and that he allegedly stalked her even after she married another man.
“He uses his resources with his law enforcement authority to take advantage of the information that he can get on these people so he can stalk them and harass them,” the woman said.
Another woman who spoke to News 13 was so afraid of Eiskant after he allegedly stalked and harassed her, she wouldn’t even file a complaint. Finally, a female Santa Fe Police officer filed a complaint two years ago saying Eiskant followed her and another female officer while they were on patrol. The other female officer said Eiskant was acting like “a creeper and stalking” her, according to the complaint.
Sources also told News 13 that a state police officer complained in August that Eiskant used a restricted law enforcement only database to find out details about his wife.
Eiskant repeatedly refused to talk to News 13.
However, his boss, Police Chief Raymond Rael, said at the time, “Any time an officer amasses this number and this type of complaint, yes it concerns me.”
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office investigated many of these claims and on Thursday came to court with what is called a pre-indictment plea. Eiskant pleaded no contest to 10 misdemeanor charges and District Judge Reed Sheppard sentenced him to one year of supervised probation. However, if he completes the mandatory counseling required under the stalking statute, he can ask for that probation to be downgraded to unsupervised probation, the judge said.
“This case was about stopping someone who shouldn’t be a police officer anymore,” said Chris Lackmann, assistant attorney general.
Eiskant and his lawyer both declined to comment after Thursday’s hearing.
As part of the plea deal, Eiskant agreed to relinquish is New Mexico law enforcement certification and never attempt to become a police officer in New Mexico or any other state, according to court documents.
The attempted false imprisonment charges relate to a traffic stop of a man and woman Eiskant made in March 2011, according to court documents. The stalking charge relates to a woman who was stalked between November 2009 and March 13, 2010, according to court documents. That woman never filed a formal complaint against Eiskant.
The harassment charges relate to two women who were harassed between Oct. 1, 2007 and Oct. 17, 2011, the documents state. One of the women is a Santa Fe police officer. The unauthorized use of the law enforcement database took place between March 29, 2011 and August 2011 and dealt with what is called the “LEADS system,” the documents state.
Eiskant also admitted to stealing less than an ounce of marijuana from a man he stopped on Oct. 5, 2011. He also pleaded no contest to marijuana possession. The former officer also pleaded no contest to attempted contributing to the delinquency of a minor.