MORA, N.M. (KRQE) - It's a weird one: a sheriff's deputy accused of stealing a pair of women's panties from a home while he was on official business there.
But it's just the latest in a series of bizarre scandals for the Mora County Sheriff's Department, and this only came to light because of an earlier scandal.
An employee who transports prisoners told KRQE News 13 that back in May he got into a patrol car and saw a pair of women's green underwear. He told his boss.
A New Mexico State Police report on the matter says Deputy Mathew Borrego admitted to stealing a green pair of underwear from a home while on duty. And the underwear issue is just the latest of many at the department.
A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office says that issue was uncovered during the AG's investigation of Sheriff Thomas Garza. Garza is accused of getting into a fight with another deputy last April after telling him to let walk a DWI suspect that he knew.
He fired the deputy on the spot, and another deputy secretly recorded it all.
The AG is still investigating to see if the sheriff should be charged with battery on a peace officer. The deputy who recorded the fight was fired in May for unrelated issues.
Garza told News 13 he couldn't talk about personnel matters but did say he has been trying to rebuild an already troubled department.
"I'm OK," he said. "It's been a long, rough 1 1/2 years, but again I can't comment."
A State Police spokesman said Borrego is not a licensed peace officer but is a licensed dispatcher. The spokesman said the agency that oversees New Mexico lawmen plans on sending Garza a letter saying that using Borrego as a deputy is a liability.
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