Updated: Saturday, 09 Jul 2011, 5:27 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 08 Jul 2011, 4:52 PM MDT
SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - An audit of the Santa Fe county Sheriff's Department reveals $73,000 worth of county property stolen and sold on ebay by former Sheriff Greg Solano.
The 31 page report released on Friday reveals what the state auditor describes as "an environment that does not discourage theft."
The most staggering part of the report is the complete list of what Solano allegedly stole from the county while in office and then sold on eBay for his own gain.
They include dvd's handcuffs, cd's, body armor, batteries, duty belts, phones, phone chargers, a law dictionary, light bars, computers, satellite boxes, TVs, key chains, ink cartridges, speakers, police radios, cable modems, thumb drives, digital recorders, Blue Tooth devices, bulletproof vests, security cameras, holsters, belt buckles, flashlights, video cameras, pads and a projector.
Police say Solano admitted to stealing many of the items but only a fraction of what the audit found.
The report also revealed some lax policies within the sheriff's department. Employees claim that Solano was allowed to come and go in the evidence room without signing in or out and often overrode the chain-of-custody procedure.
The audit revealed 38 evidence items unaccounted for. One of them was an item in a homicide case, 21 were marijuana as well as nearly $1,000 in cash.
The audit also revealed that an evidence specialist was Solano's cousin. A person who admitted to bank fraud in Colorado. That person was employed for about a month.
Matt Chandler, the district attorney prosecuting this case, says this audit now allows them to move forward with the criminal case.
While Solano has expressed the desire to plead guilty and "right" this situation, the DA put off plea agreement discussions until they knew exactly what they were dealing with.
"My goal is restitution to make the citizens of the county whole again," said Chandler.
Chandler says at this point they are set to go to trial in August, but it's possible there could be a plea agreement worked out in the meantime.
At this point Solano faces more than 250 misdemeanor charges, each carrying a possible 1 year prison sentence. Chandler said they may decide to prosecute the charges as a whole which would reduce Solano's exposure to 15 years.
Chandler said that move would prevent the prosecution from having to argue each count separately during trial, saving the court time and money. That determination has yet to be made.