SANTA FE (AP) – A Santa Fe police lieutenant is on leave without pay as he awaits trial for charges that he stole taxpayer money by getting paid when he wasn’t working.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a judge decided Tuesday that Lt. Jason Wagner would go to trial after hearing evidence that a GPS tracking device on his patrol car for two months in 2013 showed he left work early 19 times in 24 workdays.
Wagner resigned in 2013, but was rehired by new Chief Eric Garcia. He recommended progressive discipline and gave Garcia a promotion to captain, which is on hold pending the outcome of the fraud case.
Defense attorney John Day and co-counsel Megan Dorsey argue Wagner was flexing his time, an informal but long-standing departmental practice.