No evidence of fraud in Rio Arriba county

SANTA FE (AP) – An investigation has found no evidence of fraud involving the use of a community center in an already troubled northern New Mexico county whose sheriff was ousted this week. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that an internal Rio Arriba County report released Friday says a county commissioner and a county employee were suspected of pocketing payments for private use of the La Arboleda Community Center in Chimayo.

According to a sheriff’s report in August, two groups showed up at the center with each claiming a reservation. The investigation says the double booking was caused by human error.

But one of the parties called Espanola Democratic state Rep. Debbie Rodella about the incident. Rodella’s husband, former Sheriff Tommy Rodella, was convicted of abusing a driver during a traffic stop.

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