MEXICO CITY — A town in Mexico fired a police chief who the U.S. government publicly accused of aiding a drug cartel.

The mayor of the small town of Ameca, Jalisco, said late Thursday he had removed local police coordinator Severo Flores Mendoza.

Mayor Juan Valentín Serrano said he removed Flores Mendoza to remove any doubts, even though he thought he was doing a good job.

“I should be clear that this information took me by surprise, because up to now, the numbers and statistics on this issue (security) were acceptable,” Serrano wrote in his social media accounts.

The U.S. government announced sanctions Thursday against Flores Mendoza, claiming the police official gave information to Mexico’s most violent and powerful gang.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, said Flores Mendoza gave the Jalisco Cartel law enforcement information “in exchange for bribes.”

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