By Eric Norwood Jr.
CNJ staff writer
Newly-appointed District Attorney Andrea Reeb is taking over for the departed Matt Chandler.
After 10 years of working directly under Chandler, Reeb, a 1989 Clovis High School graduate, says she is more than prepared to replace him. Reeb’s grandfather Richard “Dick” Rowley once held her current position, she said, so there is more incentive for her to succeed:
Q. What are some things that you learned working under Matt Chandler?
I had the privilege of working for Matt Chandler for 10 years as his chief deputy district attorney. The most important thing I learned was how important it is to have a working relationship with the other law enforcement entities in order to produce the best result for the victims during a trial. The district attorney is the chief law enforcement officer in the Ninth Judicial District, and it is important to understand how essential our relationship is with local law enforcement.
Q. Do you have any personal goals as district attorney?
My primary goal as the district attorney is to hold defendants accountable for the crimes they commit, followed closely by assisting crime victims to the best of my ability. I also want this office to allow the victims of a crime to have a voice and presence in their cases.
Q. Why did you decide to go into the legal field?
I have family members in the legal profession. The knowledge I gained from them gave me the desire to pursue that career path. When I finished my law degree with my juris doctorate in 1996, I moved back to Clovis and immediately began working as an assistant district attorney in Portales. I knew right away that this was a career I would love, and a career I could take pride in.
Q. What in your eyes is the biggest crime related issue we face in Curry and Roosevelt counties?
With the advancement in social media, I believe it is the access sexual predators have to our children via the computer and cell phones. As the district attorney, I will strive to aggressively prosecute defendants who solicit children by electronic devices or who manufacture, view or distribute child pornography.
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages to being married to someone in the legal field?
My husband, (District Judge David Reeb Jr.) and I don’t discuss work at home so our marriage isn’t about our career choices; however, I will use this time to clarify one point. I have been a prosecutor for 17 years and my office only handles criminal cases. Conversely, my husband who has been a judge for eight years hears civil litigation cases and divorce/child custody cases; therefore, the two areas in which we practice are separate and do not conflict. This was also verified by the State of New Mexico.
Q. If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would they be?
My late grandfather, Dick Rowley (because I would love to tell him I am a prosecutor just like he was). My family, because I grab all the family time I can get, and Missy Franklin (because my girls are swimmers and they would love it.)
Q. Do you have any new ideas or programs you want to implement?
I would like to implement an anti-bullying program. Bullying is such an offensive problem in our schools and its nasty effects are being seen daily.
Q. Name some challenges that District Attorney’s face that the general public may not be aware of:
Many people are not aware that the district attorney must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist law enforcement. The district attorney is also an administrative position that supervises two offices and approximately 40 employees. It is challenging to keep our offices staffed to capacity with attorneys because recruiting prosecutors to come to remote places like Curry and Roosevelt Counties can be difficult.
Q. What is an unusual talent or skill you have?
I consider myself exceptionally hardworking, organized and prepared. That skill has gotten me far in life.
10. What field would you work in if you weren’t in the legal field?
Pediatrics. I love children.