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APS police chief under fire for missing ammunition

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Public Schools officials are considering firing Police Chief Steve Tellez over allegations that he took – for his personal use – hundreds of dollars worth of ammunition bought by the district’s police department, a district official said Monday.

The APS police department had ordered four boxes of ammunition for assault rifles, although APS police do not use 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 took one of the boxes for personal use with his own weapon, the official said.

Tellez has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 24. APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta said last week Tellez was put on leave for a “personnel matter,” not a criminal matter.

It will be up to Superintendent Winston Brooks to decide whether he should be fired.

Deputy Chief Steve Gallegos is serving as acting chief, Armenta said.

Tellez was named chief in June 2011. He joined the department as a police officer in 2004, becoming a sergeant in 2006. Tellez became interim chief in October 2010 before he was given the top position in 2011.

Attempts to contact Tellez through APS were unsuccessful.