By Joseph J. Kolb
ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - A kitchen employee at a women's halfway house has been charged with three counts of battery on a peace officer for licking sandwich cheese and ice cubes and serving them to probation and parole officers at the center, according to court documents.
Yolanda Arguello, 59, was employed at the South Valley New Mexico Women's Recovery Academy in Albuquerque as a contract employee, said Alex Tomlin, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Corrections.
"The case is still under investigation but she has had her security clearance revoked and no longer works at the facility," Tomlin said.
Other employees at the facility this month reported seeing Arguello lick sandwich cheese and serve it to probation and parole officers, and suck on ice cubes or place them on the floor and then put them in beverages for the officers, according to an investigator's affidavit in the case.
The food was served to probation and parole officers at the center, according to the affidavit, which was provided by the District Attorney's Office for the New Mexico judicial district that includes Albuquerque.
A representative from Community Education Centers, the group that operates the facility and employed Arguello, could not be reached for comment.
Arguello was charged on Wednesday with three fourth degree felony counts of battery on a peace officer, according to New Mexico court records posted online. She posted bond shortly after her arrest and was released.
Contact information for Arguello could not be found and she could not be reached for comment.
(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and James Dalgleish)