Police investigation targets current, former Las Cruces city employees
POSTED: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 12:17pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 8:36am
The Las Cruces Police Department is in the process of serving four warrants issued on criminal complaints relating to felony and misdemeanor charges by current and former city employees. The four individuals have been employed by the city’s Fleet Services Department.
Albert Favela, 45, Edward L. Tellez, 46, Inez Frank Giron, 34, and Christopher J. Bustamante, 45, are all charged with forgery in the case that has been under investigation for several months.
Favela, a former supervisor at Fleet Management, is charged with four counts each of forgery and embezzlement. Tellez and Giron are each charged with two counts of forgery while Bustamante faces one such count.
Favela, Tellez and Giron were arrested before 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, while Bustamante remains at-large.
Las Cruces Police detectives learned that on numerous occasions, Favela asked employees to falsify work orders in order to bill the city for parts, batteries or tires that were purchased but never installed on municipal vehicles. The investigation revealed that some of the parts were purchased for vehicles the city doesn’t even own.
It is believed that Favela used some of the parts billed to the city for mechanical work done outside the scope of his employment.
Detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges are possible. The city has placed enhanced security measures in its fleet area to help prevent further misconduct. City Manager Robert Garza says, “This conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by me.”