Former Santa Fe schools employee accused in bus embezzlement case

Crime

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police are investigating a case involving the Santa Fe Public Schools and its buses. The school district reported concerning allegations against an employee to police at the end of August, and NMSP launched an embezzlement investigation.

The district’s Transportation Department is the target, according to preliminary police reports KRQE News 13 has obtained. Police are looking into whether a supervisor, who oversaw the mechanics, was making money off of the district’s vehicles – like school buses – that were traded in when the district was getting new ones.

The allegation is that after it was decided which buses would be traded in, the Transportation Department would repair them. Then, when they got traded in, the supervisor is suspected of buying them and selling them online or in Mexico at a profit.

KRQE News 13 is not naming him because the investigation is still ongoing, and he has not been charged with a crime. However, a police report states pictures of school buses were linked to his Facebook, and Motor Vehicle Division records show he has “numerous school buses titled to his name.”

In all, records show 11 vehicles that used to belong to Santa Fe Public Schools were then titled in the supervisor’s name between 2016 to 2019. That includes buses and at least one Dodge Ram truck.

Friday, Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia told KRQE that the district fired the employee in question in January as a result of the district’s internal investigation. Police are also investigating if that supervisor used Santa Fe Public Schools purchase orders to get a discount on car parts for personal use.

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