David Valdez, the former city manager of Española, New Mexico, was charged with felony theft and embezzlement last week in Colorado relating to water payments which never reached the accounts of the Colorado City Metropolitan District, where he worked as district manager before coming to Española.
On April 12, over $18,000 was discovered missing from the Española Utilities Department. The above City Hall security footage shows Valdez in and around the Utilities Department from 12:40 to 12:55 pm, less than three hours before then-Utilities Department billing supervisor Nadine Trujillo reported the money missing.
Trujillo, who returns to the office at the end of the video, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Valdez and the city of Española in July, alleging she faced retaliation in the month and a half following the discovery. As of Sept. 16, no suspect had been named in the New Mexico Attorney General's Office investigation into the theft, though the investigation remains active. Trujillo alleged in a July interview that Valdez separately asked both her and Department Cashier Anna Hall about the locations of cameras in the area on the day of the theft. No camera faced into the Department.
Portions of the video have been sped up in the interest of time and raw footage from multiple cameras was combined chronologically.