Judge Monica Herranz of Multnomah County, Oregon, is under fire for her role in helping a drunk driver elude federal immigration agents in January. Fox News reports that Herranz allegedly aided Diddier Pacheco Salazar, a 22-year-old illegal alien charged with DUI, by sneaking him out of the courthouse by way of an employees-only entrance while ICE agents waited outside.

Public defender first tipped off Salazar

John Schlosser, the drunk driver's court appointed public defender, told Willamette Week in late February that he informed his client that ICE agents were waiting outside the courthouse, presumably with the intention of taking him into custody.

"After the court appearance, I went out in the hallway and sat. My client never came out," said Schlosser, adding that, to the best of his knowledge, Salazar had to have been escorted from the building by some other means.

Judge is a member of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association

After the story of Salazar's escape became public on January 27, reporters spent weeks attempting to uncover the identity of the court official who helped Salazar elude ICE agents. Fox News reported on Friday that the person who helped the drunk driver elude federal agents was Multnomah County Judge Monica Herranz, who is also on the board of directors of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association.

While ICE agents have stated that they would not investigate Herranz, Chief Judge Nan Waller has announced that she will conduct her own internal investigation into the matter, which Waller has described as "troubling."

Waller says that she will refrain from commenting on the matter until further details are uncovered.

Judge Herranz has also refused to comment on the matter.

ICE agents brought the matter to the attention of U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, who told KPTV/FOX-12 that the judge's actions were "inappropriate" and that Herranz had delegitimized the work of ICE agents.

According to KPTV/FOX-12, Salazar -- a Mexican national -- was apprehended two weeks after Judge Herranz helped him escape and is presently in custody in Tacoma, Washington.

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