By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer
An independent prosecutor on Thursday dismissed the felony case against Curry County Commissioner Ed Perales, according to Perales’ attorney.
Tenth Judicial District Special Prosecutor Ronald Reeves determined there was no merit to pursue Perales’ case, according to a copy of a court record provided by defense attorney Randall Harris.
The alleged victims also asked for the charges to be dismissed, the record showed.
Perales was arrested Sunday and charged with false imprisonment. He was accused of holding his wife, Belinda Perales, and daughter in a room during a family dispute, according to a Clovis police report.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said he forwarded the case to the 10th Judicial District for review to avoid any conflict of interest due to Ed Perales’ role as a county commissioner.
Reeves met with Ed Perales along with his wife and their daughter Thursday, Harris said.
Harris said Reeves requested to speak with Perales’ wife and daughter privately.
Reeves would not comment on the case when reached at his home on Thursday night.
Harris said Ed Perales was brought to tears when he learned by phone that his case had been dismissed.
Perales said he wanted to thank his lawyer and the community for their support.
“We are healthy and well and together as we should be,” Perales said from his home Thursday night.
Chandler said he agrees with the decision made by Clovis police to arrest Perales, based on probable cause that a crime had been committed.
Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey also believes officers had probable cause to arrest Perales.
Belinda Perales told police her husband had held her and their daughter in a bedroom “and would not let us out,” according to a police report.
On Monday, she told the CNJ her husband “did not hold us hostage,” and she wanted the incident to “go away.”