The Valley Courier has published a recent article entitled "Prosecutor was once prosecuted", discussing some previously unknown aspects of Mr. Mahonee's past, including an auto theft conviction at age 21 that was pleaded down to a misdemeanor, subsequent sealing of those court records and the fact that Mahonee changed his last name from Huey to Mahonee at age 33 for reasons that he did not want to discuss:
"Huey, who was 21 at the time, was charged with auto theft, a felony that was ultimately reduced to misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle. Mahonee, who changed his name from Huey in 1983, successfully requested that the 1971 record of his conviction be expunged last year."Mahonee maintains that his youthful indiscretions have no bearing on his performance as DA. That may or may not be the case. The fact remains that despite the circumstances of the simultaneous disappearance of Jack Gordon and John Robert Fureigh on October 2, 2008, despite the statement of former Costilla County Sheriff Gilbert Martinez about seeing a suspicious dark stain on the driveway of Fureigh's house on Luke Road, despite the statements of multiple neighbors that Fureigh was probably involved in Jack's disappearance, despite Fureigh's previous felony offenses...despite all of this Mr. Mahonee has repeatedly declined to issue a search warrant for the property of John Fureigh on Luke Road in Costilla County.
Implying that youth is a valid excuse for criminal behavior, Mahonee is quoted in the Valley Courier article:
"It was a long time ago. I was young. I wasn’t a lawyer at the time. I hadn’t even been to college."Mr. Comar wondered if Mahonee could be an efffective DA, given this record, saying:
“Nevertheless do you want your DA to have any conviction under those circumstances? How is he to say to those before him accused of a felony that a misdemeanor is not available to them even though they may have made a mistake in their lives and want nothing more than the deference given to him? What can he say to those wanting to seal their records as he has availed himself of the process?"
The Valley Courier added this insightful comment by Mr. Mahonee:
"[Mahonee]said he is the “poster child” for second chances and rehabilitation."
John Fureigh might cheer this sentiment. Jack Gordon however, didn't get his second chance.