Monday, April 14, 2014

BCSD APS Steve Tellez investigation enters fifth week

What should be an open and shut criminal investigation of APS former Chief of Police Steve Tellez has taken more than a month and there is no end in sight.  Doesn't that require some manner of explanation?

If not by Bernalillo County
Sheriff Dan Houston himself,
then by and though his
public information officer?

If not by them, than why not
by me?

It is taking so long because;

  • Sheriff Dan Houston is part of a cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving an APS senior administrator; one of the innermost circle of power and influence in the APS, or
  • Sheriff Dan Houston is really busy and hasn't gotten around to it, or
  • Sheriff Dan Houston has more important things to investigate right now, or
  • The case has suddenly become overwhelmingly complicated, or
  • whatever.
"Whatever" because I, like you have no idea why it is taking the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department so long to complete their investigation.  "Whatever" because in the absence of any indication from the Sheriff, making up explanations ourselves the only way we'll have explanation at all.

According to Houston's PIO;
... to tell us anything (at all) right now, would alert potential defendants to destroy evidence, coordinate stories or flee the jurisdiction.
Right, either that or "no progress is being made" is not
one of the choices on his "PIO Model" Magic 8-Ball, link.

How long must an investigation take before it has taken too long; egregiously long, willfully long?

Will statutes of limitation on felony criminal misconduct expire before the Steve Tellez investigation is complete?  It wouldn't be the first time.

When APS' public funded private police force investigated allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving its own chief in 2007, they took so long to do it that statutes of limitation expired on felony criminal misconduct before they were done.

They still haven't released the findings.  APS' Executive Director of Human Resources Andrea Trybus testified under oath; as far as she knows, they didn't conduct any investigation at all.

That investigation of allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving an APS Chief of Police was a Tellez investigation as well; not an investigation of Tellez, but one by Tellez.  Tellez was Acting Chief of APS Police at the time of the supposed investigation; it was conducted by his subordinates.

The findings of all the investigations remain hidden by the leadership of the APS, from public knowledge.  Even in violation of the law.

When they are finally produced, the findings will demonstrate that Steve Tellez had guilty knowledge of the public corruption and incompetence that brought down the former Chief Gil Lovato.  They may even prove he participated in it.  And then was promoted to Acting Chief, was responsible for overseeing the investigation of misconduct that likely included him, found none and ended up being secretly promoted to permanent Chief .

APS wouldn't be hiding the findings so hard,
if there were nothing in the findings to hide.

The failure of Kent Walz and the Journal to enforce the NM IPRA regarding the findings of investigations into public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS Police force  is so egregious as to appear deliberate beyond any reasonable doubt.

photo Mark Bralley

Berry broke the law. Will he pay the fine?

There is a body of law in New Mexico called the Governmental Conduct Act, link.  If the ACT does clearly and unequivocally prohibit misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance, it should.  I will proceed under the assumption that it does.  I will proceed assuming as well, and again without citation, that the Act provides for the prosecution and punishment of violators.

There is a point where ignorance becomes so egregious that it cannot be other than willful.  There is a line between egregious and willful.  Drawing a sharp line is impossible and therefore problematic if the ignorance is marginal.

In this case, the ignorance is so egregious, so far past beyond any line however fine or broadly drawn, that we needn't trouble or concern ourselves with further its consideration.

This ignorance is too execrable to ignore.  Whether it is egregious or willful is moot. The one is as bad as the other.  Neither is acceptable.

Ignorance this abounding, must be nonfeasance, misfeasance, and depending on circumstances still secret from public knowledge, possibly/probably malfeasance (Wikipedia derived);

nonfeasance; failed to pay attention when required
misfeasance; willfully ignored the truth
malfeasance; willful ignored the truth and parties were injured
So who can the people depend upon, really depend upon,
to see that Mayor Richard Berry is held honestly accountable
to the provisions of the NM Governmental Conduct Act?

The question unfortunately, is not rhetorical in the least.

There is no history of which I am aware, of powerful politicians and public servants in New Mexico, being held honestly accountable for their failure however abject,
"... to justify the confidence placed in them by the people, at all times maintaining the integrity and discharging ethically the high responsibilities of public service."

Good leaders accept personal accountability including personal
consequences for their conduct and competence.

Great leaders demand them.

Richard Berry has done neither.

photo  Mark Bralley

rather than rewrite this post and re-post it after substituting APS, the school board and superintendent where appropriate, I will simple re-ask the question;
Who is going to hold the school board and superintendent for their egregious or willful ignorance regarding student discipline issues in APS classrooms and hallways, link?
Again, the question is not rhetorical. 

One would think a free press would be of some use.
One would be disappointed.
Who is going to hold Kent Walz and the Journal accountable for their egregious or willful ignorance of problems in the APD and the APS?
And one last time, the question is not rhetorical?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Open letter to the editors of the Albuquerque Journal

Nearly twenty years ago today, I was selected to be among the first teachers in the APS to be trained on Character Counts! by its founder Michael Josephson.  As a "trainer of trainers" I trained three dozen community groups, school faculties and thousands and thousands of students on Character Counts!.

Simultaneous with acquiring my belief in Character Counts! a struggle began.

Somehow, I ended up holding the flag for the side that believes that the leadership of the APS has an inescapable obligation to role model honest accountability the Pillars of Character Counts! for as long as those are the standards that the leadership of the APS establish and enforce upon students.

Sometime in 2005 or 6, the APS School Board voted unanimously to remove the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct.  I was suing them at the time, and arguing that the role modeling clause was evidence of their obligation to litigate "ethically".  Their response was to remove it.  It used to read;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students
(the Pillars of Character Counts! a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics, link.)
Since the night of their abdication, I have been doing everything I could think of to hold them accountable for that abdication.  Since the night of their abdication, I have been trying to get the Albuquerque Journal to investigate and report upon credible testimony and incontrovertible evidence of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Their only defense against what I say and write about them is to tell people; don't listen.  He's a nut; he's a crack pot, he's dangerous.  Amid all their allegations and for a full decade, they still manage to avoid having to respond the question.  In words any APS student can understand,
why are students are expected to hold themselves honestly
accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law while
school board members and senior administrators are not?
This about the message, not about the messenger.
This about that question.  It is not about who is asking it,
why I am asking it, how I am asking it, how many times I have asked it or how many times I will have to ask it before they respond; candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

For as long as the leadership of the APS has been refusing to communicate a candid, forthright and honest response; for as long as there has been a full blown ethics and accountability scandal in the senior-most leadership of the APS, the Journal has refused investigate that scandal and report on the squandering of our trust, our treasure and our power.

In the spring of 2007, the Journal investigated and reported upon, link, a scandal in the leadership of APS publicly funded private police force.  The scandal included allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

The findings of every single investigation of allegations of public corruption, incompetence, and felony criminal misconduct now lie in the hands of Winston Brooks and the board.  Not one word from of any of them has been made public.  They are spending operational dollars, dollars that would otherwise be spend in schools, to keep the records redacted in their entirety forever. 

They are covering up a cover up of felony criminal misconduct.

The Journal steadfastly refuses to investigate and report on the cover up; if only to report that there isn't one.

The Journal has covered my current litigation against Esquivel, Brooks, Armenta and Tellez on two occasions.  On neither occasion was I afforded the simple courtesy and journalistic basic obligation of a personal contact; an opportunity to tell my side of the story to balance the coverage.

The Journal repeatedly prints Marty Esquivel's allegations against me and repeatedly fails to provide me any opportunity to refute, rebut or deny his unfounded allegations.  Even through several school board elections.

There is a digital record of every meeting that Esquivel alleges I disrupted. 

If there is a digital record; incontrovertible proof that I disrupted a meeting, why can't he produce it?  If I have been "hovering over administrators for years, why can't he produce even one photograph of me so doing?

Why doesn't the Journal insist that he produce evidence?  Would you publish an allegation against Esquivel without asking for proof?  Why is Journal coverage so apparently lopsided?

It is because Journal coverage is lopsided.  On its face.

cc link, to the editors upon posting
receipt was acknowledged

Saturday, April 12, 2014

DOJ / CABQ / APD "negotiations" to be webcast and archived?

One would think.

With regard to upcoming negotiations, link, one would think that they; the DOJ, CABQ and the APD, would understand that doing anything in unnecessary and or unjustified secret, will only fuel the fire.

The very worst thing a politician or public servant can do,
is anything they do in unnecessary secret
from the people whose resources they spend and
whose power they wield.

Transparency limited only by the spirit of the law.

A searchable archive would be even better.

I am reminded of a safety poster I once saw.
It read;

At the sound of the explosion,

the danger has passed.

After the "negotiations" have begun,
the opportunity to make them transparent
has passed.

Now is the time to insist upon more transparency than there ever has been.

Now is the time to insist upon as much transparency as there ever will be.

"The right time to do the right thing,
is always right now"unk

Does character count in politics and public service?

For the purpose of this poll, character is defined as;

Willing and honest accountability to any standards of conduct higher than the loosest interpretation of the law; the standards of conduct that every higher standard is higher than.
Where else but in government, do enormous amounts of power and resources find themselves protected only by "trust" in human nature and in human beings finding themselves in control of enormous power and resources in an environment where either can be squandered without consequence?

At what point does ignorance become so egregious as to become manifestly willful?

I only ask because willful ignorance in politicians and public servants is nonfeasance at best.

In positions of trust, guilty knowledge is malfeasance.

I have only my own experience to draw upon, but I can't help but believe that if I was the Chief of Police, the city's Chief Administrative Officer, or the Mayor, I would have known about the problems in the police department.  Or, I would have to admit to mind numbing, bone crushing incompetence.

Chiefs and mayors are supposed to know what's going on below them.  They are expected to know.  We, the people, rely upon them to know what's going on.  They are there to protect the public interests through their oversight over the administration of our power and resources.

For people who are expected to know about problems,
for people who are relied upon to know about problems;
uttering the words "I knew nothing about the problems"
is utterly indefensible.

Of which are the words "I know nothing" more powerful evidence; corruption or incompetence?  At best, it's a toss up.

Are the people uttering those words admitting that

  • they lack the skills and ability to identify the problems we relied upon them to identify, or that
  • they made a deliberate decision to remain willfully ignorant of the problems we trusted them to identify?
In public service, willful ignorance and guilty knowledge are corruption.  Cultures of corruption and incompetence thrive on willful ignorance and guilty knowledge.

That the leadership of the City and the Albuquerque Police Department are egregiously ignorant is beyond debate.  That they are willfully ignorant is beyond debate but for a different reason.  Politically powerful people don't debate or discuss things like their feigned ignorance of problems they failed to address.

With respect to the reform of the Albuquerque Police Department and any other endeavor in need of reform, the reform begins with a candid, forthright and honest accounting of which politicians and public servants knew what when.

When the question put a politician or public servant is;
Are you willing to tell the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but 
the ethically redacted truth, about the 
public interests and your public service?
any answer except yes means no.

Future corruption and incompetence cannot be eliminated
by policies and procedures that apparently grandfather in
all the previous corruption and or incompetence.

It stands to reason.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The DoJ on the APD

I read in the DoJ report on their investigation of the APD;

Chief among these deficiencies is the (Albuquerque Police) department’s failure to implement an objective and rigorous internal accountability system. ... Other deficiencies relate to the department’s inadequate tactical deployments and incoherent implementation of community policing principles.
and I am wondering, who is reasonably responsible for these failures.  And I don't mean just in a buck stops here on the mayor's desk, rah rah, kind of a way.

Who knew or should have known?

Who had guilty knowledge; who knew and did nothing?
Who should have known and remained willfully ignorant?

Who is responsible; whose head should roll?

The heads of the grossly incompetent and even marginally corrupt should roll.  Sometimes they do, maybe this time they will.

The heads that never, or hardly ever roll, rest on the shoulders of the politically powerful people whose responsibility it was, to make certain that the people who worked under them weren't acting on their corruption or out of their incompetence.

I am discouraged to hear good ol' boy speak from Mayor Richard Berry and other high ranking people.

It's time to look forward, they recite together and alone.

Forward looking is good ol' boy speak for; the politicians and public servants who by their corruption and or through their incompetence, squandered our trust; abused our power and wasted our resources, will not be identified, tracked down and fired ... for "personnel reasons".

Forget about it;
it's time to look forward.

Look! something shiny!

photo Mark Bralley

Why isn't public education getting better and cheaper?

Where else has growth in technology produced  so little bang for the buck?  If improved technology could somehow be held accountable for its use in public education, it would be a failed endeavor.

The effort to connect children and the world of knowledge; the "internet" for want of a better word, and helping them learn how to use it to learn how to learn about everything, is failing.

Unless you're inclined to blame teachers, parents or students for (education) technology's pitiful bang for the buck; you have to blame the powers that be.

What else could it be?

In the Albuquerque Public Schools there is nearly a hundred thousand years of teaching experience because, in average public school districts, teachers average seven years of ongoing experience each.

They have among them as well, whatever continuing education and training they have undertaken while they were teaching.  They are the single best resource for an answer if ever the question is asked; 

why isn't this working?
The question isn't asked by the powers that be, because the answer is; the powers that be are responsible for demanding that teachers ignore their education, experience and instincts, and follow instead a path to almost certain failure.

Even you could form children into thought choirs,
why would you want to?

How in this day and age, can we still be insisting that children with nothing in common but their age and the neighborhood they live in, be expected to think and learn in unison; at the same time and all at the same speed?  Six rows of five desks, each child on the same page in the same book at the same moment; no matter where else their natural curiosity and motivation might otherwise compel them to be.

If you believe in mass standardized testing of children; a huge money maker, you must must also believe in mass teaching and learning.  The one requires the other.  Students can't learn at their own speed if every time they pass the start/finish line, they all have to be there together; dutifully arranged in five rows of six.

How is it that with all the technology available to us, we cannot teach nearly any child to learn how to learn; any where, any time and for for a few tens or hundreds of dollars per child?

And yes, there do need to be community schools where students working in groups with the same immediate goal, makes sense.  There need to be neighborhood school buildings and schools for a number of equally important uses.

The stodgy thinking that holds back public education is not the thinking of teachers, it is the thinking of people who for the most part haven't been in a classroom for years.

There's a reason school board member and senior administrators
don't regularly substitute teach the curriculum they demand,
in the manner in which they demand that it be taught, and
under the circumstances they expect teachers to deliver it.

photo  Mark Bralley

Has Marty Esquivel burned a bridge?

According to the Journal, link,

(Defendant) Esquivel, an attorney who works on First Amendment issues, said the judge should have listened to witness testimony regarding MacQuigg’s behavior and not just relied on court briefs.
He is upset that the judge is "dismissive" of his arguments.
“I have never disagreed more with a legal opinion in my 25 years of practicing law,”
What kind  of lawyer says something like that in the newspaper, about a US District Court Chief Judge?

What kind of lawyer says that kind of thing about the judge who is presiding over his own ongoing trial?

Is Marty Esquivel out of control?

photo  Mark Bralley

"Ban is lifted on APS critic"

And with that headline, the Journal began their coverage this morning, link, of developments in the litigation against APS heavy hitters Marty Esquivel, Winston Brooks, Monica Armenta, Steve Tellez ...

The last time the Journal covered the case, link, the reporter chose to not interview me and give me an opportunity to refute, rebut or deny any allegations they were going to publish.  They have again.

Journal (education?) reporter Jon Swedien talked with my lead attorney, but he made no effort to talk with me.  It seems hard to justify.

Had I been interviewed;

I would have pointed out that repeatedly identifying me as an "APS critic" is deliberately pejorative.  I could also be described as a relentless advocate for Character Counts!, governmental transparency, and for actual, honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants within their public service.

I could have been referred to as a blogger; a modern political pamphleteer.  They could have linked to Diogenes' six.

I would have cleared up Swedien's lack of certainty that I intend to return to the public forum at APS School Board meetings.

Why would I not;
  • are they going to tell stakeholders the truth about the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS 
  • are they going to tell the truth about the cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators
  • are they going to tell the truth about student discipline and chronically disruptive students
  • are they going to end the practice of cost is no object litigation to except senior administrators and school board members from the consequences of breaking the law
if I and many, many others don't step up to demand candid, forthright and honest responses to our legitimate questions?

Swedien interviewed Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz' good friend Defendant Marty Esquivel, and then published his slander without my input.
Esquivel said he imposed the ban – with the backing of the board – because MacQuigg would shout out during board meetings, would hover over administrators and once donned an elephant mask that made employees and members of the public feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
The "backing" Esquivel refers to was gathered in violation of the Open Meeting Act; there was no meeting, no agenda and no vote for the record.

My "shouting" (another deliberately pejorative term) at three board meetings, was because I was being talked to by a board member, talked about by a board member, or being illegally arrested for drawing attention to the elephant in the room.

 No evidence was produced by APS that proved that these incidents actually disrupted any board meeting ever.  I never hovered over any administrator ever; nor have they produced a single photograph of me hovering over anybody. 

As for the elephant mask; Esquivel and Armenta both swore under oath that they thought I was a "mouse".  Armenta sworn she thought I was Chucky Cheese.  Who could be scared by Chucky Cheese?

Esquivel swears in Swedien's report;
The ban was not because MacQuigg criticized APS or because of his outspoken support for an education program called Character Counts.
The Judge;
"... was dismissive of APS’(Marty Esquivel's) arguments."
Marty Esquivel has a position on APS' student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!.  It is that he is not personally accountable even as one of the district's eight senior-most role models of accountability to the nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct, link.

We can debate whether politicians and public servants can or should be held honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct and competence within their public service, but there is no debate over how one goes about abandoning accountability to those standards.  The board can't simply resolve to adopt them, link, and then ignore rather than repeal them.

The board must either hold themselves honestly accountable to the Pillars of Character Counts! or lower student standards to a point where the leadership of the APS is comfortable with their own honest accountability.

I can't imagine what standards those would be.  The record of the leadership of the APS is that they are not even accountable to the law; the lowest standards of conduct, the standards of conduct that every higher standard is higher than.

Swedien reports;
"The Court finds that the real reason for excluding Plaintiff from Board meetings is the Board’s frustration with Plaintiff’s ad nauseum belaboring of the Board about Character Counts, and that the justifications offered by the Board are pretexts masking viewpoint discrimination.”

Yes, the Judge described my relentless efforts to hold the leadership of the APS accountable as ad nauseum belaboring.  I'm not sure what I am supposed to do with that.  Should we give up after we have been ignored some number of times?  How many?  How many times do you get to freely exercise a Constitutionally protected human right before forfeiting it?

Swedien offered my attorneys an obligatory column inch;
“All I can say is that Mr. MacQuigg’s behavior has never included anything that would form a legitimate reason for ejecting a citizen from a public meeting of elected officials,” John Boyd said.
It is important to note that nearly everything that Esquivel and Brooks accuse me of doing occurred during school board meetings and in their castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

My (mis)conduct was either videotaped or it was not.
They made every effort they possible could to videotape any misconduct on my part.

Those meetings and the building they're held in, have more security cameras on them than probably other any place in the city.  The cameras are manned 24/7.

APS employees were ordered to take photographs of me if they could, doing anything wrong. 

APS Police officers were assigned in pairs to follow me around when ever I stepped on APS property. 

They spent a quarter of a million dollars installing cameras and hardening their castle keep against my armed invasion and still, they can't produce a single frame of evidence against me.

There is not one photograph, one second of videotape, or bit of audio recording of me acting outside my Constitutionally protected human rights to act.

There is a reason for that.  Untoward activity has never been in my interests or consistent with my agenda; advocacy of honest accountability to higher standards of conduct.

My agenda would have been immediately and fatally undermined by my doing anything inconsistent with the standards for which I advocate.  I have trained literally thousands of students and adults about Character Counts!.  I have presented before a sitting governor, an APS superintendent, board members, community groups.  I did not do anything at the public forum at a school board meeting that I would be ashamed to have any of those people review.

Review, by the way, is possible.  Anyone who wants to look at the evidence can; it's all online, link.
Esquivel, an attorney who works on First Amendment issues, said the judge should have listened to witness testimony regarding MacQuigg’s behavior and not just relied on court briefs.

“I have never disagreed more with a legal opinion in my 25 years of practicing law,” Esquivel said. He added the board would have lifted the ban had MacQuigg agreed to tone down his behavior.
All I had to do, was admit that I had done something wrong and then promise to not do it again.  The Judge has ruled that I did nothing wrong.  I don't have to "tone down my behavior".  I have no wrongdoing to admit and I shouldn't be required to swear that I will not do something I have never done.

The "witness testimony" comes in the most, from people who I have complained about formally or in blog posts; the School Board President Marty Esquivel, APS Supt Winston Brooks,  Chief Operating Officer Brad Winter, Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta, and the now disgraced former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez.

Tellez and his boss APS COO Brad Winter
Tellez swore in his deposition that he had watched videotape of me sneaking into APS headquarters. 

He hadn't of course, because no videotape was recorded of an event that never happened.  I would have had nothing to gain by sneaking in, and everything to lose by getting caught.

They couldn't produce the video. 

None of their manifestly conflicted testimony is corroborated by hard evidence.  Evidence that could have been easily created at the time, could exist now if they had wanted it to, but does not now exist; either because it was never created or because it was created and lost or destroyed in their hands.

Swedien writes;
In addition to APS, MacQuigg’s suit names Esquivel, former board member David Robbins, Superintendent Winston Brooks, former police chief Steve Tellez and communications staffers Monica Armenta and Rigo Chavez.
Why does the Journal always refer to Armenta as a "communications staffer"? She makes over a hundred thousand dollars a year; she's a full fledged member of APS' innermost circle.
Both sides are seeking a summary judgment of the case in their favor. If neither request is successful, the case could head to trial.
Had Swedien asked, I would have reminded him that a settlement has been on the table from the very first day.  It has been rejected by Marty Esquivel because he doesn't want to have to admit that he violated my civil rights.  He's ready, willing and able to spend however many "operational dollars" it takes to prolong that certain result for as long as he can.

If nothing else he needs forestall his conviction until after Friday May 2; the day he is scheduled to teach the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government's seminar on how to control meetings without violating speakers' civil rights.

photos Mark Bralley

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Did APS' "phase out" Character Counts!, or just hide it?

The only reason, in one very real sense, that there ever was Character Counts! in the APS, was because US Senator Pete Domenici.

Not only was he a Founding Father and vocal advocate of Character Counts!, but he brought a whole bunch of federal grant money with him.  The leadership of the APS spent ever dime in an effort to appear to be offering character education for students.  Character education in general and Character Counts! in particular.

The Pillars of Character Counts!, link, represent a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.  They aren't the only standard, they may not even be the best.  They're the best that I am aware of, and they have been officially the APS student standards of conduct since 1994.

Because the board has not rescinded or modified the resolution that made the Pillars the student standards, and because every year in the APS Student Behavior Handbook they remind students that they are expected to model and promote (honest accountability to) the Pillars of Character Counts!; Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship, and Trustworthiness.

The Pillar of Trustworthiness requires candid, forthright and honest responses to legitimate questions.  The leadership of the APS would have none of that so they struck the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct.

They think that because they struck the language which used to read;

in no case shall the standards of conduct for adults
be lower than the standards of conduct for students
from their standards of conduct, they can no longer be held actually, honestly accountable as role models of higher standards of conduct than the law.  Standards which often require of people of character;
more than the law requires and 
less than the law allows.
"Phased out" means to discontinue the practice, production, or use of by phases, to stop production or operation by phase.

There was no "phasing out" of honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law; they dropped it like a hot potato when the grant money ran out, and when I tried to hold them accountable as role models in state court.

They packed up the evidence and hid it in closets.

Where is the Character Counts! quilt that used to hang outside of APS Supt Winston Brooks' office?

In his deposition, his testimony indicated he is clueless about Character Counts!; the standards of conduct of which he is the senior-most administrative role model in the entire APS.

Is there still a Character Counts! quilt behind the board in the Martin-DeLayo community room?

You can see it behind the board in the accompanying photograph of Audit Committee Chair David Robbins announcing that the board had a conduct a discussion and made a decision illegally; the decision to eject us from the meeting.

They perjured themselves when they each swore that they discussed and decided on nothing during the executive session, except what was on the agenda.

The video and photo documentarian of my travail with the leadership of the APS, photojournalist Mark Bralley, actually managed to tape Board Member Robert Lucero suggesting before they adjourned that, that was what they needed to do.

There is no Character Counts! in the Albuquerque Public Schools because there is not one board member or senior administrator who is willing to stand up in front of students and promise to require no more from students than they require of them self.

Likewise, there is not one board member or senior administrator willing to stand up before students and explain to them in words they can understand, why they will not.

Why students are expected to hold themselves honestly accountable to higher standards of conduct than the law, and school board members and senior administrators are not?

photos; Robbins ched macquigg
Senator Domenici, Robert Lucero, Mark Bralley 

"idiosyncratic behaviors"

When the trial judge wrote;

"Mr. MacQuigg has "exhibited idiosyncratic behaviors"
I went immediately to my online dictionary.  I found;
noun \ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē\
an unusual way in which a particular person behaves or thinks
I can own that; sometimes I think and behave unusually.

Unusual thinking, including but not limited to;
  • I think that the leadership of the APS needs to step up as role models of accountability to the same standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students, and
  • I think that the leadership of the APS should restore the role modeling clause to their own standards of conduct.  In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult, be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
  • I think there are only two reasons why a school board member or senior administrator would not hold them self honestly accountable to student standards of conduct; their own lack of character and or their own lack of courage.
  • I think there needs to be an independent evaluation of APS' executive, administrative, adult and student standards of conduct, and of actual honest accountability to those standards, and
  • I think the leadership of the APS needs to produce the findings of investigations of allegations of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators and the leadership of APS' Police force, and
  • I think there needs to be open and honest two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the community members they serve, and
  • I think, at the public forum and elsewhere, the leadership of the APS should respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to questions about the public interests and about their public service.
For as long as, and for as many times as I have raised these points at the public forum, not one of them has seen or heard a good faith response.

I am not alone in standing at the podium of at a school board public forum, and noting that the people I'm speaking to aren't listening.

They're working on their lap tops, having side conversations, or playing with their phones.

In an effort to get the leadership of the APS to respond in good faith to legitimate questions, I found myself compelled to behave more "unusually".

Unusual behavior, included but not limited to;
  •  I advocate "obsessively" in favor of honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants within their public service, and
  • Sometimes I would print what I think, on a poster.   I would stand quietly and peacefully against a wall somewhere during APS school board meetings.
  • In 2008 I wore an elephant mask to a couple of meetings.  I stood quietly in the back of the room.  To describe what I did as attempt to menace, threaten and intimidate them into adopting accountability to ethical standards of conduct, is what is meant by grasping at straws, wiktionary.
  • The elephant in the room of course is the disconnection between their representation that they are role modeling accountability to higher standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!, link, and the reality; that it is nearly impossible to hold them accountable even to the law and
  • Once, when the Praetorian Guard bounced me from the lobby of a "public input" meeting, I moved outside with my poster.
L to r, me, a grinning Brad Winter, a grinning Steve Tellez, a grinning private police officer, and the free exercise of my civil rights

Whatever one might think of what I think, or how I behave; what I think and how I behave are protected activities.  I have a Constitutionally protected human rights to free speech and to petition my government.

Praetorian Guard rolls on "disruption"
Considering what else has been identified by the Supreme Court as "protected" activities, our standing quietly in the back of a room holding up posters doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

Wearing an elephant mask and standing quietly in the back of a boardroom doesn't seem so unreasonable.

I have challenged their character and their courage and they don't like it.

They have at their immediate disposal, a publicly funded private police force.  It reports directly to, and only to, the leadership of the APS.  It is in every sense, a Praetorian Guard.

They use it to stifle dissent.

They use it to hide the truth about public corruption in the leadership of the APS and their Police force.

Kent Walz and the Journal aid and abet.

photos Mark Bralley

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Conceptually, APD reform could not be simpler.

Conceptually, reform of any agency of government could not simpler;

  • Identify appropriate and meaningful standards of conduct and competence, and then
  • enforce them ruthlessly.
There are, in the known universe, meaningful standards of conduct and competence for police departments and police officers.  If there are not, then there is the problem.

The standards are clear and equivocal.  They are high enough to protect the public interests in the APD.

There is not the will to find those standards and then enforce them ruthlessly.

The problem is that it isn't possible to create a system that holds (future) politicians and public servants accountable for their misconduct and incompetence, that does not also hold accountable current office and position holders for their past incompetence and corruption.  Their incompetence and corruption is not going to be "grandfathered" in; they have no choice but to resist reform however surreptitiously.

If you really want to end any particular incompetence or corruption, all you have to do is create a place or opportunity for complaints alleging incompetence and corruption to enjoy due process.

All you have to do is to create a place or opportunity where the least powerful can file complaints against the most powerful and those complaints will be adjudicated honestly.

One of the accoutrements of power is the opportunity to self investigate allegations of your own incompetence or corruption.  The Albuquerque Police Department has "internal affairs", and the leadership of the APS has RCI, link

Every good ol' boy oligarchy in government has some way of keeping a lid on the truth about incompetence and corruption in their domain; whether it be their own or their subordinates'.

If there is corruption, the guilt falls first on the corrupt.  It should fall next on the politician or public servant whose own corruption or incompetence enabled the subordinate's corruption to take place.

It doesn't.

If you give people the opportunity to cover up their own failure to hold subordinates accountable, they will.  Consider the cover up of the corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS Police force.  APS self investigated and then hid, and are still hiding the findings from the District Attorney.

Chief Tellez whispers in Winter's ear.
How often do you hear about a government official being held accountable for incompetence or corruption beneath them?  Is APS COO Brad Winter going to be held accountable for the circumstances that led his chief of police to believe he could misappropriate public property for his own use?

The solution to the problems in the APD, the APS, and every other agency of government that is abusing power, is to stop letting them control investigations and findings of their abuse.

The solution is truly independent and powerful investigations whose findings cannot be redacted by the subjects of the investigations.

photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Whole APS Board to hear the truth, finally

The APS School Board is scheduled to meet Friday morning.
On their agenda, link;

II. Consideration for Approval to Convene in Executive Session Pursuant to the Open Meetings Act NMSA 1978 (§ 10-15-1 (H)(7)) for the Purpose of Discussing Pending Litigation Regarding Charles “Ched” MacQuigg vs. The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, Civ. No. 12-1137 MCA/KBM (Action)
In this meeting, if things go as they should, the other six board members beside Marty Esquivel will hear a candid, forthright and honest appraisal case analysis of the litigation of my complaints against Esquivel et al.

The presentation of the case analysis is way overdue.  It should have taken place two years and $600K ago.  It should have ended before it started.

The truth about the spending of around $600K on legal defenses for Marty Esquivel, Winston Brooks, Monica Armenta and Steve Tellez will be presented to the entire board in a meeting in secret.

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this meeting.

It is the mechanism by which the people hold the Superintendent actually accountable for his administration of their power and resources.

Because the meeting is in secret, you can only "trust" that board members will do the right thing; that they will act in the public interests and not in their own.

The right thing of course, is to settle the case.  We have been willing to settle from the very beginning.  All they had to do was admit they violated my civil rights and agree on reasonable damages.

Rather than admit their wrongdoing,  Esquivel and Brooks began spending many times more tax dollars than I will ever see in settlement, to underwrite their cost is no object legal defenses and efforts to escape accountability for their deliberate misconduct.

This case analysis should have been presented long ago.
That it is only now being presented is noteworthy.
If nothing else, it substantiates my claim that the board
has remained willfully ignorant of the truth for years.

All in an effort avoid an open and honest public discussion of;
  • their production of findings of investigations into allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators and the leadership of the APS Police force; a publicly funded private police force accountable directly to and only to the leadership of the APS,
  • an independent evaluation of executive, administrative, adult and student standards of conduct and competence,
  • actual accountability to those standards for even the most powerful,
  • student discipline and chronically disruptive students, and
  • executive and administrative role modeling of student standards of conduct