Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Solano resigns

Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano has resigned.

According to our story online, Solano admitted he used his office to sell old protective body vests and other supplies no longer utilized by deputies.

Here's more:

Solano submitted his resignation Wednesday and the investigation of his actions is now in the hands of state police. Undersheriff Robert Garcia was elected to serve as sheriff starting Jan. 1 and it is likely he will be named by county commissioners to assume the post immediately.

"I have done some things that I should not have done and am ready to come clean and face the consequences," Solano wrote to staff and supporters.

Solano then went on to explain how the transactions occurred.

"Several years ago, I read articles about families of soldiers buying protective body vests and sending them to their loved ones overseas, to wear for additional protection. I also saw that they were buying them online. I began selling old vests from the Sheriff's Department in this fashion," he said.

Solano said that protective body vests are turned in by officers when they get new ones or when they leave the Sheriff's Office and they are normally these are destroyed and discarded.

"They are warranted for five years and it's not recommended for law enforcement use after that. During the last few years I have taken these vests and sold them online - mostly to military personnel who wanted them for extra protection overseas. I sold vests and several other items such as old cell phones left over from when we replaced department issued phones, flashlights, police belts, and holsters.

"This was wrong, illegal, unethical and dishonest," he wrote.

Solano wrote that he his family has been stressed financially, "Unfortunately, I am just a normal man trying to keep my family afloat during these tough financial times. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong and cannot be justified."

More later, no doubt.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.
This, straight from State Police:

Over the course of the past several months, the New Mexico State Police have been looking into an allegation of embezzlement by Greg Solano.
Through the four month investigation agents with the New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau have learned that Greg Solano was selling Santa Fe County property. The amount of property has not come to a final tally; the scheme was facilitated through e-bay where Solano would sell items illegally.
Through the course of the investigation we have been working with the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The case is ongoing and once complete an update will be provided.

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