COLFAX COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A former county manager is accused of diverting thousands of dollars in public money to her own company. An investigation was launched into the matter.

The State Auditor’s Office released the results of the investigation into Mary Lou Kern, who served as the Colfax County Manager until last year.

Between 2018 and 2022, according to the audit, Kern approved more than $600,000 in overpayments to a contractor providing inmate medical services, where it turned out she was the chief financial officer.

The county said many of those payments went towards illegitimate expenses, including general office supplies, services for a different county, and personal use.

Kern already paid a fine for violating the governmental conduct act. Now, she is facing a lawsuit from the county.

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The Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the audit to determine whether Kern will face criminal charges.