Greg Solano was born November 15, 1963 in Santa Fe, NM. Greg Solano married Antoinette Solano on May 19, 1984, they have two children and two grandchildren. Antoinette is an employee of the State of New Mexico.
Solano was a former President of the Santa Fe Police Officers Association, the City Police Union. During his presidency, the union became the first certified and recognized City of Santa Fe Union. He lost re-election as president in 1994 after Mayor Debbie Jaramillo appointed a controversial black police chief Don Grady. He was caught in between union members who wanted the chief removed and those who felt the fight for removal was racist in nature. He lost the election to the pro removal faction. He then left the police department in 1994 and first ran for sheriff in 1998, losing to then Under Sheriff Ray Sisneros by a slim margin.
In 2002, Solano ran again for sheriff against a field of two other Democrats and one Republican. After winning a close primary in June, he went on to win 70% of the vote in the November general election.
As sheriff, he raised deputy pay by 21% and in doing so stopped a flood of deputies leaving for other departments as well as filling often-vacant positions. Solano took on the privatization of jails in Santa Fe County after the problem-plagued jails formerly run by private companies received widespread criticism. He fought for the adult and juvenile jails return to public control ending the counties association with private companies. He was involved in a settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice over complaints and deficiencies found in audits of the adult facility prior to his administration. Sheriff Solano also took on drunk driving issues when he fought for local ordinances allowing for the taking and auctioning of repeat offenders automobiles and the placement of breath test machines in local liquor establishments. The most controversial of his driving while intoxicated ideas was to place the information and photos of repeat offenders on the Sheriff's Office website.
In September 2005, Solano announced his re-election bid for the office of Sheriff in the June 2006 Democratic Primary. The Santa Fe Reporter wrote a cover story on his life called "Behind the Badge " which was published May 3, 2006.
In June 2006 Sheriff Solano handily won re-election with 64% of the vote. He was challenged by one of his deputies who ran an increasingly negative campaign which failed to garner enough support to remove Sheriff Solano from office. Sheriff Solano begins his second four-year term January 1, 2007 having no Republican opponent in the General Election. The Sheriff's office is term limited with only two consecutive four year terms allowed.
On August 27, 2008 Sheriff Solano announced he would run for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in the 2010 Primary election under the Democratic party.
On November 24, 2010 Democrat Solano resigned as Sheriff of Santa Fe County after admitting to selling police and county property for years, including protective body armor vests to members of the military using eBay.
"I have done some things that I should not have done and am ready to come clean and face the consequences," Greg Solano, sheriff of Sante Fe county, said in a statement.
Solano, saying his family faced financial difficulties, admitted selling property that included cell phones, flashlights, police belts, holsters and the protective vests.
"During the last few years I have taken these vests and sold them online, mostly to military personnel who wanted them for extra protection overseas," Solano said. "This was wrong, illegal, unethical and dishonest."
Solano said the body vests he sold were several years old and no longer recommended for use by law enforcement.
State police said they have been investigating an embezzlement charge against Solano for the past four months.
State police spokesman Eric Garcia said the amount of property sold by Solano had not yet been determined. But he said "the scheme was facilitated through EBay where Solano would sell items illegally."
He said police investigators are working with the local district attorney's office and the case is ongoing.
Solano said he has turned over evidence and promised to cooperate with authorities.
"I will accept the consequences for my actions. Although my home is threatened with foreclosure and I am now unemployed, I plan to pay back what I took," Solano said.
Robert Garcia, Solano's undersheriff was sworn in as interim County Sheriff. Garcia was subsequently elected as Sheriff by the citizens of Santa Fe County in the election of November 2, 2011 and began his first term on January 1, 2012.
On July 20, 2011, Solano pleaded guilty in District Court as part of a plea agreement to five counts of fraud for embezzling county property and selling the items for his own gain on eBay. The plea deal came eight months after Solano resigned as sheriff and admitted auctioning the items for personal profit.
Solano is net savvy (he’s known as the “Blogging Sheriff”). Solano maintains an active presence on Twitter and Facebook and regularly engages with his followers.
Greg Solano is also a writer with his short story "From Baghdad to Santa Fe " winning second place in a local writing contest earning him the title of published author. He began work on his first fiction novel in 2005.