2 former Cibola County officials face criminal charges

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GALLUP, N.M. (AP) – Two former Cibola County officials face criminal charges accusing them of ethics violations and using their positions for personal gain.

The Gallup Independent reports that the charges against former County Manager Jimmy Scott Vinson and former Commissioner Antonio Gallegos resulted from a citizens petition that sought the convening of a grand jury.

Charges against Vinson include an embezzlement count accusing him of using a county credit card for personal expenses, while charges against Gallegos stem from his involvement of the county’s purchase of property.

Gallegos and a lawyer representing Vinson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Petition drive leader Ronny Pynes of Grants said he was among residents who had many reasons to suspect there was criminal activity and that public records they obtained indicated numerous irregularities.

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