Sunland Park Fire Chief allegedly embezzled hundreds on boots, work truck

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Sunland Park fire chief allegedly drove his work vehicle for personal use and used department funds to buy several boots, which went missing.

Sunland Park Fire Chief Andres Burciaga has been indicted on one count of Embezzlement of over $500, according to court documents.

Sunland Park City Manager Julia Brown hired a private investigator to look into Burciaga’s actions, according to the complaint affidavit.

The investigator discovered Burciaga used his work truck to drive to his goat ranch in Far East El Paso County and he bought several pair of boots from Premier Uniform, but none of the firefighters ever received the boots, the affidavit said.

An investigator with the New Mexico State Police met with the acting chief of the Sunland Park Fire Department who provided documents showing Burciaga logged 2,282 miles on his work vehicle from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11 and he signed purchase orders for the boots. He also said none of the firefighters received boots, the affidavit said.

State police met with Burciaga who said he “was never told there was a limit to how many miles he logs on the work truck,” and he admitted to driving to his ranch for “emergency.” He also said he signed for the boots and took them back to his office but did not know what happened to them, the affidavit said.

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