This is the back story of chasing Billy the Kid and is now laughingly part of Billy the Kid history.
About the time Cold West was born, I was the mayor of Capitan, New Mexico. (Yeah, the town is still there, smarty pants.)
Sheriff Tom Sullivan and I were getting a lot of ink about real cops investigating the Kid. So much ink, it set the Foamers (those that foam at the mouth at the mere mention of the Kid’s name) into a tail spin and they sued us. Me, the sheriff and the Kid were in court for seven years.
In the course of these events a Foamer would send 17 to 20 page rambling and sometimes incoherent, open records act request to City Hall and the Sheriff’s office. Even though the author knew there were no records concerning the Kid at city hall we’d get one and two of these crazy letters a week.
After about a dozen of these letters and being forced by law to answer them, I received one addressed to Mayor Steve Sederwall; Deputy Sheriff Steve Sederwall; & Citizen Steve Sederwall.
By this time I was done with this nonsense. My short and honest letter drew a complaint filed with the New Mexico Attorney General. She called and asked me if I wrote the letter. I had her read it back, mainly because I just wanted to hear her read it. She read the letter back and I told her I did write it.
She told me as the AG I was right on point with the law; as a citizen it was great and one attorney had copied the letter hanging on his office wall.
On City letterhead I wrote the following letter;
Dear Mr. ____________________,
I’m in receipt of your letter addressed to Mayor Steve Sederwall; Deputy Sheriff Steve Sederwall; & Citizen Steve Sederwall.
Speaking as Mayor Sederwall we hold no records, nor have we ever held records at city hall concerning Billy the Kid.
Speaking as Deputy Sheriff Sederwall, I do not have the authority to release any records from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s office. I would advise you to contact Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan.
Speaking as Citizen Sederwall, you can kiss my cowboy ass.