APS police chief fired for taking ammo for personal use

Updated: 03/14/2014 6:27 PM | Created: 03/14/2014 9:08 AM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque Public Schools Police Chief Steve Tellez is out of his job – fired for what may be a serious crime.

Tellez was fired Friday morning amid accusations that he stole ammunition that his police department paid for – ammunition for rifles that his officers don’t even have. They carry 9 millimeter handguns. The ammo in question is two missing cases of bullets for the AR-15 rifle, worth about $400 a case. APS sources said the chief admitted taking at least one case for his own personal use.

“We have turned the investigation over to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department because there’s an administrative investigation and then there’s a criminal investigation,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “ The Sheriff’s Department will be involved in the criminal investigation.”

Eyewitness News 4 investigated the APS purchase of four cases of AR-15 ammo back in 2010, questioning why the police department needed bullets for guns it didn’t have. Turns out then-chief Bill Reed was considering a plan to use AR-15s. Two APS officers were trained and certified on the weapon. APS sources say one of them was Steve Tellez.

“Steve Tellez served this district admirably in different roles,” Brooks said. “If anybody ever starts to feel good about terminating people, they’re sick. No termination is fun. No termination is gratifying. But you have to sit back and look at what’s best for the district.”

Deputy Chief Steve Gallegos will serve as acting chief until a permanent chief is hired.

“We have all the confidence in the world in Chief Gallegos,” said APS chief operations officer Brad Winter. “ He’s been with the department a long, long time.”

Tellez was making $90,000 a year. He started with the APS cops in 2004, and became chief in 2011.

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