Probe: New Mexico Official Misused Public Funds

May 2, 2014

  The state auditor says an elected official used public money for casinos, gas stations, hotels and other personal items.

State Auditor Hector Balderas says  that former Tierra Amarilla Land Grant Board President Dennis Wells, who has since died, stole money that was supposed to go toward the land, but spent nearly all of it for his own personal use.

Balderas said Wells used taxpayers' money on items like a car, carpet, dental work and penis enhancement pills.

He said restitution could come from his estate and also believes other people may be involved.

Balderas is now asking for an FBI criminal investigation. He is also asking for the state's Land Grant Committee, which is part of the New Mexico Legislature, to more closely monitor local land grant boards.


Information from: KOAT-TV,

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.