FARMINGTON — Citing a state statute, Farmington declined to release a document that described why former Detective Sgt. Robert Perez was fired.

City Manager Rob Mayes received the document Feb. 13 and Perez was fired Feb. 14 after 19 years with the department, according to city documents.

"I have reviewed the facts of this case," Mayes wrote in a letter to Perez. "I concur with the recommendation for termination."

The letter said the reason Perez was fired was described in a memoranda Farmington Police Chief Kyle Westall wrote on Feb. 13.

Mayes' letter said Perez had 10 days from Feb. 14 to appeal the city's decision.

Perez started work as a detective for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 19.

The Daily Times filed a records request to see the memoranda and the city declined to release it, saying the document was not a public record subject to a request.

Prior to being dismissed from the department, Perez was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 9, the day after Westall filed a formal complaint against him.

Westall's complaint said Perez completed an unsatisfactory and untruthful report during his investigation of embezzlement at the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The complaint also said Perez violated the department's code of conduct policies.

Debbie Dusenbery, the former director of the bureau, is believed to have stolen more than $500,000 from the bureau, which is funded by a lodgers tax collected by the city of Farmington.

She died several weeks into the investigation of an apparent self-inflicted gun-shot wound to the head in an Arizona desert, according to police reports.

No one was ever charged with a crime in relation to the case.

Capt. Vince Mitchell was assigned to investigate Westall's complaint.

The captain was given a March 8 deadline to complete his investigation, according to city documents.

The Daily Times filed a request to see Mitchell's entire report and the city denied the request, referring to the same state statute the city used to decline the memoranda on Perez.

Ryan Boetel may be reached at rboetel@daily-times.com; 564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel