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NM school official avoids prosecution in art theft

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico school board member won’t be prosecuted and instead is being referred to a counseling program for the theft of a 4-foot-long iguana bronze sculpture from a resort.

A law enforcement report says video from the Pojoaque Pueblo’s Buffalo Thunder resort showed Pojoaque Valley school board member Jon Paul Romero picking up the sculpture and walking out with it on Sept. 27.

Romero attorney Tom Clark says his client is taking responsibility. Clark says Romero acknowledges he was drinking and doesn’t dispute that he took the sculpture.

Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies saw the sculpture through a window at Romero’s home and recovered it after obtaining a search warrant.

District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco says she referred Romero to a pre-prosecution program for first-time, non-violent offenders.

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