The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a criminal investigation into former Albuquerque Public School police Chief Steve Tellez.
APS has turned over to the sheriff’s office its findings from an administrative investigation into allegations Tellez was responsible for missing ammunition, said spokesman Sergeant Aaron Williamson in a statement.
The sheriff’s office should complete the investigation by the end of next week, Williamson said. No charges have been filed at this time and more information will be provided upon completion of the investigation, Williamson said.
APS administration made the decision to fire Tellez earlier this week, spokeswoman Monica Armenta said. The school board was briefed on the matter during a closed portion of a meeting Friday morning. The decision was announced after the meeting. Tellez received a letter Wednesday notifying him he would be fired, Armenta said.
Tellez has hired attorney Mike Danoff. Danoff had no comment Friday, other than he was looking into the matter.
Tellez has been on paid administrative leave since Feb 24.
Allegations were made that Tellez took ammunition for personal use, according to a district official. The APS police department had ordered four boxes of ammunition for assault rifles, although APS police do not use any assault rifles, the official said. Two of the boxes, which cost between $400 and $500 each, are missing, the official said.
Tellez has acknowledged to APS administration that he used one of the boxes for personal use with his own weapon, the official said.
Armenta also said a third party had concluded an investigation into the matter.
Tellez was named chief in June 2011. He began with the department as a police officer in 2004, becoming a sergeant in 2006. Tellez rose to deputy police chief in 2010 and was interim chief from October 2010 until June 2011.
APS Deputy Chief Steve Gallegos will continue to serve as acting chief until a new chief is named, Armenta said.
–This is a developing story. Additional information will be added as it becomes available.