Audit: Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Sold More Than $70,000 Of County Equipment Online.

Albuquerque Journal: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal North, abqjournal.com
BYLINE: Vic Vela / Journal Staff Writer
Link to Article

Santa Fe County, NM

Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano sold $73,364 in county property on eBay for his own profit, according to results of an audit released by the State Auditor’s Office.

Additionally, a press release sent from State Auditor Hector Balderas’ office says that the audit fond that the evidence room at the sheriff’s office was disorganized and that the items inside of it were left susceptible to theft. Solano and another sergeant “periodically overrode controls” to gain entry to the evidence room and were able to walk “in and out” without providing appropriate signatures.

The audit found that there was “an overall lack of policies and procedures at the Sheriff’s Office, including deficient controls related to the office’s evidence, ammunition and supply rooms,” the press release states.

The audit was conducted by an independent auditor “to determine whether, and to what extent, the County had suffered from theft, fraud or embezzlement by Solano from December 15, 2004 through December 15, 2010.”

Balderas said of Solano in the press statement that he is “deeply troubled that an elected official repeatedly betrayed the public trust in this manner.”

Solano, 47, resigned in November after admitting he sold county owned property, that included body armor and handcuffs, on eBay for his personal profit. He has been charged with 252 counts of embezzlement or fraud. Solano withdrew more than $3,000 from ATMs inside casinos in New Mexico and Nevada over a 22-month period, and from an account tied to his illegal online sales of sheriff’s office property, according to financial records obtained by the Journal.

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