On the day before Thanksgiving, Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano sent out a letter that, it can safely be assumed, changed his life.
"It is with a heavy heart and great shame that I release this statement," Solano began. He went on to admit that he had been selling for financial gain protective body vests discarded by his office. In a telephone interview with SFR just after his inauguration that same day, Solano's former undersheriff, Robert Garcia, compared the news to "getting hit in the stomach with a sledgehammer."
Solano hasn't commented to the media since his initial statement, and his blog—once the forum for garrulous ramblings about everything from police brutality to Halloween safety tips—is now closed, except to "invited readers."
But Solano's epilogue is not absent. It is being written daily—on his Facebook wall.
The first comment came at 12:50 pm on Nov. 24, mere hours after SFR first broke the news online.
"Greg, thank you for your service to Santa Fe County," Zachary Jude Rael writes. "Very unfortunate to hear the news…but we must experience the dark before we know the light. Take care."
Within hours, the comments were pouring in. They came from his daughter—"you['re] still a hero in my eyes"—from politicos, devout Christians, family members and fellow officers. Most people thanked Solano for his service or friendship, and many lauded his decision to "come clean." He gained 36 Facebook friends in three days.
In response to SFR's request for an interview (made via Facebook) Solano writes, "I am sorry I cannot talk to media at this time. I will say that I have put my friends and family through a tough time and for so many to show support and encouragement has been a blessing. For now I can only apologize for all the pain and hurt I have caused."