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Santa Fe officer pleads not guilty to time card fraud

SANTA FE, N.M. — Veteran Santa Fe Police Department Lt. Jason Wagner pleaded not guilty this morning to four counts of “paying/receiving public money for services not rendered,” during his arraignment in state District Court in Santa Fe.
Wagner, a 16 – year veteran of the department, was charged in a criminal information filed Feb. 19 by the district attorney, after allegations of time card fraud from 2013 surfaced under the administration of former chief Ray Rael. Wagner resigned when confronted with those allegations but asked for job back and was rehired earlier this year by current chief Eric Garcia.
Wagner spoke briefly during the hearing, saying “I do judge,” when asked by judge T. Glenn Ellington if he understood the charges against him. Chief Deputy District Attorney Regina Ryanczak told the court that each count, which are fourth-degree felonies, carries a penalty of 18 months in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
A preliminary hearing is set for April 18 during which Ellington will determine if there is probable cause to proceed to trial.