Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano will plead guilty to charges stemming from his embezzling county property.
“Our intent is to enter a plea,” Brook Gamble, Solano’s attorney, told a state district judge on Monday.
According to Clovis-based District Attorney Matt Chandler, who took part in Monday’s pretrial conference by telephone, the problem is that a plea cannot be extended until his office reviews the results of an independent forensic audit of the sheriff’s department.
“We’re still in the process of waiting for the forensic audit,” Chandler said. “We were told it would be sometime in early May, so I expect it soon.”
The plea may also be held up while the two parties haggle over price. What I mean is I think the prosecution and the defense may have different opinions on how much restitution the former sheriff should pay.
Should he pay the county back the exact dollar amount of what the county paid for the items said to have been embezzled? Should he pay back the amount he made on eBay? Should he pay only the depreciated value of the items sold? Remember, not all items were new. He is said to have sold some items that the department had on hand for years, so should he pay back what the county purchased those items for or the value of those items when sold on eBay?
Solano was arrested in January and charged with 251 counts of embezzlement and one count of fraud. He resigned in November and admitted he was selling county-owned items on eBay for personal gain.
When I find out from the county whether they have an update on the release of the audit info/results, I’ll post it on this blog.
Here is a link to an article from January about the sheriff’s arrest: