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SF Police Conduct Embezzlement Probes at City’s Parking Division

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An embezzlement probe at the Santa Fe Parking Division may have led to the firing of a city employee.

City Manager Robert Romero said Tuesday that Cynthia Medina was fired Friday, but he declined further comment, citing personnel confidentiality.

Santa Fe Police Lt. Louis Carlos later confirmed that Medina was the target of an investigation into alleged embezzlement of Parking Division assets.

“The case has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office for review of prosecution,” he said.

Carlos added that another city employee in the same department is also under investigation for possible embezzlement. But he could not elaborate, because it is an ongoing case. But Carlos did say that investigation is not related to Medina.

This is the third investigation of a Parking Division employee since last year, Carlos said, but no arrests have been made and no charges filed.

Another Parking Division employee resigned late last week, but Romero declined further comment, again citing personnel confidentiality. When asked if an internal investigation is ongoing with regards to embezzlement within the department, Romero said no.

“As far as our personnel investigation, I felt we took the appropriate action and it is complete. I can’t speak to the details because an employee does have the right to appeal my decision to an arbitrator,” Romero said. “The only other investigation is a criminal investigation, which is done by the police department.”

The Parking Division has been under fire for low collection of parking ticket fines, among other things. A 2010 internal audit criticized how the division handled cash, also noting that audit software hasn’t worked for the past two years, video cameras and alarm systems hadn’t been operational in parking garages, and door keys and a safe combination hadn’t been changed, despite significant turnover.

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