Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mark Kmatz: Nude Photos Part of Research


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Yes, the deputy admits, he surfed the internet to look at pictures of naked women while on duty
but it was all legitimate, former Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mark Kmatz said, because he was “researching a specific group of individuals with distinct tattoos and piercings.”

Kmatz made that argument in a complaint for employment retaliation, which he filed Wednesday against the Bernalillo County Commission.

Kmatz said in the suit that he was forced to resign or be terminated because he was caught viewing pictures of nude women at work. But he said in the complaint that the nudes weren’t on pornographic sites and he was looking at them for legitimate research.

Felicia Romero, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, declined to comment on the case, citing the pending litigation.

Kmatz had been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1997 and at one point was a spokesman for the agency.

The complaint says that in February 2015 a female deputy made a sexual harassment accusation against another deputy, and Kmatz told her to file a complaint. He was then interviewed as part of that internal affairs investigation, and Kmatz said he “engaged in protected activity of opposing discrimination in the workplace.”

Weeks later, Kmatz said in the complaint, he was the target of an internal affairs investigation for surfing the internet on duty and looking at pictures of nude women. The complaint doesn’t describe where Kmatz looked at the photos, or why he had to research nudes.

Kmatz said in the complaint that compared with viewing photos of naked women, he “is aware of other deputies committing much more egregious violations of policy who were not fired.”

The complaint, filed in 2nd Judicial District Court, is seeking damages that would compensate him for the earnings he would have received if he had not been forced to resign and additional damages “for his mental anguish and humiliation.”