NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A former New Mexico sheriff is facing criminal charges. The attorney general (AG) said he stole thousands of dollars meant for fighting wildfires.

Ian Fletcher was the sheriff of Catron County back in 2018 when the USDA granted nearly $40,000 to reimburse his department for costs related to the Buzzard Fire.

Instead of using that money for fire-related expenses, the AG said Fletcher made 15 withdrawals over the following year, draining nearly all the funds and keeping the money for himself.

The AG also accuses Fletcher of claiming hundreds of hours in overtime that he was not eligible for. Fletcher retired last year after a county employee noticed irregularities and notified state authorities.

Story continues below:

The charges against Fletcher include embezzlement, money laundering, and misusing public money.