NM county worker accused of tampering with records

Posted at: 06/29/2013 1:19 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - An employee of the Otero County Assessor's Office is being accused of tampering with dozens of property appraisal files.

Joshua Prather turned himself in Friday and was charged with 62 counts of felony tampering with public records.

He's free after posting bond.

Prather is the son of Otero County Treasurer Cathe Prather and former DWI supervision program manager H.R. Prather.

They tell the Alamogordo Daily News  they believe he's innocent.

Prosecutors are accusing Joshua Prather of deleting and altering files without approval from County Assessor Donald Yee, in effect undervaluing 62 properties by $5.3 million.

Yee had previously counseled Prather about falling behind in the number of appraisals he was completing.

Court records say that when the assessor's chief appraiser checked the database earlier this year, each of Prather's files were altered or deleted.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)