Carman, who was fired from his city position in July 2011, faced one count of felony embezzlement after the city of Bloomfield accused him of taking city equipment, including several sheets of metal, and having city employees complete some private work at his home on city time.
Carman's attorney, Eric Morrow, stated last December that the firing and charges were retaliatory responses to Carman's expressions of concern surrounding installation of the Ten Commandments monument on the City Hall lawn, which took place in July of 2011.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico last February filed a subsequent lawsuit against the city, Mayor Scott Eckstein and several city councilors, saying that the monument violates the First Amendment and the state constitution, and that the city disregarded ordinances and policy requirements when installing the monument.
City Manager David Fuqua has denied that Carman's termination and charge had anything to do with Carman expressing concern about the monument's installation.
Dustin O'Brien, chief deputy with the District Attorney's office, explained Wednesday that the charge was dismissed because it involved allegations of multiple small acts as opposed to an obvious act of embezzlement with intent to commit a crime.
"Usually embezzlement is clear - it either did or did not happen. This involved multiple small things that aggregated to get to the threshold of a felony," said O'Brien. "We didn't feel that a jury would be impressed with the evidence, and would not be likely to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt."
O'Brien said in a case like this, criminal intent must also be shown, and the D.A.'s office did not feel there was a strong enough case to prove such intent.
"If an employee is a blatant long-term abuser of city property, that's different, but in this situation they were alleging a series of smaller infractions which barely added up" to the threshold reaching a felony, which is $500, he said.
Speaking for his client, Morrow said on Wednesday that there was never a legitimate criminal case against Carman.
"They came to their senses and realized they have a ridiculous case," he said. "Once the D.A.'s office analyzed it, they realized there was nothing there to prosecute."
The D.A.'s office had offered Carman entry into a Pre-Prosecution Diversion program, but he neither accepted nor declined the offer.
Morrow added that Carman is contemplating a lawsuit against the city but has not yet made a decision about moving forward with any such action.
City Manager David Fuqua said he is surprised about the charge's dismissal.
"I'm not sure why they dismissed it, and I'm curious as to why," he said. "The detective had a lot of evidence on (Carman), and it's kind of strange... People should be held accountable."
Fuqua is nonplussed about a potential lawsuit.
"I hope he thinks about it and makes a wise decision," he said. "The city's on the right side and he knows it. When you're right, you don't have to fear anything."