Monday, November 30, 2009

So who has Shannon's back?

UNM Board of Regents President Ray Sanchez is covering David Schmidly's ass; he has decided that there will be no independent investigation Schmidly's handling of Locksley Gate.

UNM President David Schmidly is covering Helen Gonzales' ass; he is still trying to "decide" whether he will order an independent investigation of her handling of Locksley Gate.

UNM Human Resources Vice President Helen Gonzales covered Paul Krebs' ass; she investigated the whole thing without making a single recording of anyone's testimony.

UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs covered his own ass by having a student do the preliminary investigation of Locksley Gate.

The only one whose ass didn't get covered was the student caught in the middle, Shannon Garbiso.

She has no one to cover her ass except a former colleague, link,
someone whose calls for an independent investigation of Locksley Gate have already been rebuffed.

It would be difficult to find a more cogent measure of organizational rot, than measuring the fear of retribution and retaliation for those who stand up and tell the truth.

It must suck to be Shannon Garbiso these days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The accoutrements of power.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I believe it was Socrates who first wrote;

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I would argue that the correlation is coincidental and not causal.

There are powerful wo/men who are not corrupt.

Some because of their virtue, and others because
they know that they can't get away with it.

It is not the power that corrupts.
It is the ability to abuse power without consequence,
that corrupts.

It can be made impossibly difficult to get away with being a corrupt and or incompetent public servant.

Getting away with corruption and incompetence,
will not be ended by those who benefit from their self exception from accountability.

Nor will it be ended by a small handful of honest politicians and public servants; no matter how good and brave. A small number have always been there, and they never got it done.

Corrupt and incompetent public servants are powerful because they control large amounts of power. It is not their power. It is our power. We gave over control of it to them, because they told us that that is the way government works.

We no longer have control over the spending of our power and resources.

The simple proof that you have lost control over power and resources that are fundamentally your own;

is for you to ask a public servant to answer legitimate questions about the use and abuse of your power and resources,

and have them tell you "no comment".

"No comment" is not an acceptable answer to a legitimate question about the public interests and resources.

Chicken and the egg; which came first?
corrupt and incompetent men and women who created a system under which they cannot be held honestly accountable for their corruption and their incompetence, or

a system without standards or accountability that
corrupted good men and women?

The question is moot.

Either way, the solution is the same.

You commission honest auditors who will follow the public interests and resources, looking very deliberately, for incompetence and corruption. And if they find any, they will report it to the public record, not to the corrupt and incompetent, expecting them to actually hold themselves accountable for their corruption and incompetence.

Because we have no choice but to "trust" public servants with control over our power and resources,

it is reasonable to expect them to hold themselves accountable to a higher standard of conduct than the one they wrote for themselves; the law,

the lowest, and loosest standards that we can enforce;
except on the powerful.

Whatever that higher standard is determined to be,
it includes having to tell the truth. It includes the expectation
that legitimate questions will be answered candidly, forthrightly,
and honestly.

And if they are not, there will be a system under which the least powerful can hold the most powerful, honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

Trust runs a distant second to honest accountability,
in protecting the public interests from corruption and incompetence.

We will not be given back control over our power.
It will not be legislated back.
It will not be regained by election.
It will not be returned by the courts.
There is no branch of government that will return control over public power and resources, to the public.

It will be taken back only by revolution.
More of us than them,
taking back control over our power and resources,
even against their will.

We have justification for a revolution.

All we are lacking is revolutionaries,
all of whom died out, apparently,
generations ago.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fred Harris is at best a hypocrite. At worst he is being deliberately deceitful.

Former US Senator, and current UNM Professor Emeritus Fred Harris had an agenda when he slung his mud, link.
The agenda; convince voters to vote for Diane Denish because
of the Republican candidates lack honor.

Though his premise is shattered by the "unknown" candidate;
Janice Arnold-Jones.

What ever else you hear about
Janice Arnold-Jones, for
whatever reason you find to
not vote for her, it will not be
because of her lack of honor.

Her character and courage are
proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Harris accusation is slanderous
and utterly unjustifiable.

If asked you to list the aspects of the process of election that

you find most distasteful, I would hope that among the first
you write, you would write that you find distasteful;
  • the process by which voters are swayed into supporting candidates and issues.

If asked how you would change it, I would hope that you would
write; raise the level of the discourse.

Harris writes,
So to my Republican friends in the race, I say this:
Elevate the level of discourse, please.
As illustrative examples of "elevated discourse" he provided;
(edited for effect)
  • .. from the Republican candidates for governor, we've seen very little (honor).
  • ... Republican candidates are introducing themselves by publicly tearing someone else down.
  • ... the Republicans are attacking Denish with the malice and recklessness that we usually don't see until the weeks right before an election.
  • ... the Republican candidates didn't offer their opinions. They didn't even offer constructive criticism. Instead, on the day that Denish proposed these reforms, the Republicans just found another reason to irresponsibly attack her character.
  • The Republicans don't only attack Denish when she makes a statement herself, but they attack her for virtually anything that may appear in the news on a given day.
  • When Gov. Bill Richardson makes an announcement, they unleash a flurry of press releases attacking Diane. When the Lobos lose another football game, the Republicans blame Diane. (Well, that hasn't actually happened yet, but wait.)
  • ... my in-boxes would be filled every day with Republican attacks.
If you were plotting levels of discourse, where would these fall?
Is this "elevated discourse"?

The foundational premise of representative government is
a fully informed electorate.

That end would be met by elevating the level of the discourse.

Instead, politicians like Harris, create and reinforce prejudice.
Mostly, through deliberate deception.

Harris' opinion piece is deliberately deceiving.
He cannot cite a single example of the dishonorable conduct
that he has alleged of Janice Arnold-Jones.

Yet rather than write about how Diane Denish's views on
reforming government differ from Janice Arnold-Jones',
he writes slanderous allegations, for no reason except to create
and reinforce a prejudice against ALL Republicans, including
Janice Arnold-Jones

Fred Harris has written a perfect example of what is wrong
with this process.

Fred Harris has written a perfect example of what he argues,
nobody should be writing.

He manifest the dishonorable conduct he claims to abhor.

photos Mark Bralley

Fred Harris talks of "honor" then shows very little.

Fred Harris is billed as a UNM Professor Emeritus of Political Science and former United States Senator. He wrote a guest column for the Journal this morning, link.

His opinion is entitled
"Way Too Early for All This GOP Mud-Slinging"
The title may not be his own; but the mud he slings under it, is.

His opinion is that the Republican candidates for governor,
all four of them, are engaging in mud-slinging.
Representative Janice Arnold-Jones
is one of the four
candidates. As such, Harris has accused her of
the following.

(His words,"republican candidates" in the following statements
are replaced with Rep Janice Arnold-Jones name; pronouns
are adjusted accordingly.)

  • Unfortunately, from (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones), we've seen very little (honor).
  • However, instead of introductions founded on ideas and solutions for our state, (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones is) introducing (herself) by publicly tearing someone else down.
  • But already, (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones) (is) attacking Denish with the malice and recklessness that we usually don't see until the weeks right before an election.
  • Instead, on the day that Denish proposed these reforms, (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones) just found another reason to irresponsibly attack her character.
  • (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones) (doesn't) only attack Denish when she makes a statement herself, but (she) attack(s) her for virtually anything that may appear in the news on a given day.
  • If a state bureaucrat gets into trouble, (Rep Janice Arnold-Jones) point(s) (her) guns at Denish. When Gov. Bill Richardson makes an announcement, (she) unleash(es) a flurry of press releases attacking Diane.
Not one of these statements is true.
There is not a speck of truth in any of them.

The simple truth is,
Rep Janice Arnold-Jones
could well be, the most
honorable candidate in the race.

I challenge Senator Harris to point to even one single
example to substantiate his accusations; to absolve him of accusations of his own "malice and recklessness".

The "honorable" Fred Harris owes Rep Janice Arnold-Jones a public apology for his mud-slinging.

If anyone's honor is actually in question here, it is Harris',
not the "honorable" Janice Arnold-Jones'.

The question of his honor will be resolved in the form and
in the substance of his apology to her.

cc Fred Harris upon posting

photos Mark Bralley

Friday, November 27, 2009

What if this guy really is an Albuquerque cop? What if he really is telling the truth?

The following comment was left on a post on the
Eye on Albuquerque called, The Blue Barrier of Fear, link.

What system is in place within the Albuquerque Police Department, that makes it impossible to believe that
this comment isn't absolutely accurate and true?

What assurances do we have, that it isn't true, except from
the very people accuses of being so characterless and corrupt?

I love being a cop but I find it harder and harder to work for a police department where the so called leadership has no Honesty or Integrity. When the chain of command constantly lies and the department is run by Intimidation and Retaliation I think it’s time to look for another job. I have witnessed first hand the lies and the deception that goes on. A police officer that is not honest or has no integrity is no better then the people we arrest. Please don’t get me wrong, I think there are a lot of good honest cops out there but the double standards and the favoritism that goes on within this department is crazy. How do they sleep at night? I will be making a very difficult decision on whether I should look for another job or not because my integrity defines me as a man, father, a husband, neighbor and of course a cop.
Doesn't this guy, and all of the other good cops deserve better?

Diane Denish, ombudsman.

Lt Governor Diane Denish freely admits her constitutional obligation to act as an ombudsman for citizen complaints against state government agencies, link.

I emailed her regarding the disposition of two complaints that I have filed, one with the Attorney General's Office, one with the Office of the State Auditor.

The request for her assistance was made on June 14, 2009, link.

To date, I have received not so much as an acknowledgment of the receipt of my request for her assistance as my ombudsman.

They say, it's the little things that count.

I could not agree more.

photo Mark Bralley

Ethics Commission will give "political subdivisions" three years to ge their acts together.

The new Ethics Commission, link, applies to state government employees. It does not apply for example, to the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, and will not, until January 1, 2013.

By January 1, 2013, the state ethics commission shall
submit a report to the legislature and the governor
regarding the extension of commission jurisdiction to
elected and appointed officials and employees of
political subdivisions of the state.
You can almost hear their collective sigh of relief.

The Board recently approved a Code of Ethics, link, which applies to them, but by their own admission is completely unenforceable.

Schmidly, cover your tracks everyone.

Thursday's Journal, link.

On Monday, UNM President David Schmidly reportedly warned the university's senior administrators about leaving paper trails, reminding members of his executive cabinet that e-mails, text messages and cell phone records are all subject to disclosure under the Inspection of Public Records Act, and he suggested they use landlines to make sensitive calls.

The university would neither confirm nor deny Schmidly made the remarks, issuing instead a statement from departing university attorney Patrick Apodaca.

"We do not comment on rumors,"
If UNM President David Schmidly actually gave this advice to the leadership of the UNM, it is reason enough to remove him from office immediately.

The whole idea behind open government laws; the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act, is, the public has a right to know how their power and resources are being spent.

It is impossibly difficult to overstate the importance of truth telling in a Democracy; without it, there is no Democracy.

Government ought to be all outside and no inside. . . . Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.
Woodrow Wilson

Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.
Jeremy Bentham

For the most part, officials love secrecy because it is a tool of power and control, not because the information they hold is particularly sensitive by nature.
John Reid, 1999

I believe that a guarantee of public access to government information is indispensable in the long run for any democratic society.... if officials make public only what they want citizens to know, then publicity becomes a sham and accountability meaningless.
Sissela Bok, Swedish philosopher, 1982

A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.
James Madison, 1832

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
Patrick Henry, American colonial revolutionary

Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show it can bear discussion and publicity.
Lord Acton

Without publicity, no good is permanent; under the auspices of publicity, no evil can continue.
Jeremy Bentham, 1768

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
James Madison, fourth American president

photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jury doesn't believe APD Chief Ray Schultz, taxpayers out $662,000.00.

Albuquerque Chief of Police Ray Schultz tried to get jurors to believe that there is no such thing as the "blue wall of silence".

Jurors weren't going for it, link,
and they awarded the victim
$662,000.00, plus another
$200,000.00 or so in legal fees.

Still unclear at this point,

  1. why Schultz thought anyone would believe such an indefensible argument,
  2. why he was appointed as Chief of Police despite overwhelming evidence that it was a bad appointment, and
  3. how much longer we will have to put up with this kind of leadership in our police department.

photo Mark Bralley

Jimmy Carter Middle School, ex-President wants his name off the building.

Yet another scandal at Jimmy Carter Middle School, link.

Two teachers physically assaulting students, one teacher admitting to having sex with her student, and now yet another teacher accused of making inappropriate comments and touching of students. There are allegations that this is not the first time he has been accused.

Parents are wondering what in the hell is going on at their school, and rightly so.

Last year, JCMS teachers participated in what APS calls a "school climate survey". The survey results were highly critical of the administration. APS leadership kept the results secret for months. When they finally were released, it was too late in the school year to address them. School resumed this fall with the results still largely secret from stakeholders and unaddressed formally and in the open.

The problem at Jimmy Carter Middle School is the same problem that permeates the entire APS; hiding the truth from stakeholders. Most problems can be solved when the entire community is involved in the solution. Most problems that remained unsolved in the APS, remain unsolved because the first priority of the leadership of the APS is to hide the problem from public knowledge.

A recent audit of the APS, done by the Council of the Great City Schools, revealed that "administrators routinely falsified crime statistics" to protect the reputation of their schools.

The leadership of the APS fields its own police force. They report directly to, and only to, the leadership of the APS. Whatever else they are, they are a Praetorian Guard; they exist to hide the truth about criminal misconduct by APS administrators from public knowledge. Almost three years ago, they gathered evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators, link. That evidence still has not been surrendered to the District Attorney for criminal prosecution. And now it is too late, statutes of limitation on felony criminal misconduct have been allowed to expire.

Hidden for what reason except to hide the truth, and to protect APS senior administrators and board members from honest accountability for their corruption and their incompetence?

There are huge problems in the leadership of the APS. Another recent audit of their Finance Division revealed

  • inadequate standards,
  • inadequate accountability, and
  • inadequate record keeping;
a recipe for disaster.

The leadership steadfastly refuses to commission an independent standards and accountability audit that would reveal the same standards and accountability problems district wide.

For as long as the leadership of the APS is allowed to hide standards and accountability issues, problems of all kinds will continue relatively unabated. And we will continue to be treated to a scandal a week somewhere in the APS.

We have lost control over our power and our resources in the APS. That control will never be regained for as long as the leadership of the APS is allowed to hide their own corruption and incompetence.

School Board head honcho,
Paula Maes once stated that
she "would never agree to any
audit that individually identifies"
corrupt and incompetent

So far, she has kept her word.

And until they are identified and
removed, problems will persist.

The leadership of the APS will be coming to taxpayers in February asking us to trust them with another 600 million dollars.

Unless that request is preceded by an independent review of
administrative standards and accountability,
the request should be denied.

photo Mark Bralley

Ethics Commission bill, ready to go.

A bill, link, has been written by members of an Interim committee on Courts, Corrections and Justice.

All of which begs one question; why not pass this bill before passing any other?

Interesting tidbits; (found within the Act)
9.G. A state official or state employee who is a respondent
shall be entitled to representation by the risk
management division of the general services department;
provided, however, that if the respondent is found to
have committed an ethics violation, the respondent shall
reimburse the division for the respondent's equitable
share of reasonable attorney fees and costs.

11. C. After hearing and consideration of all the
evidence, if the commission finds by clear and convincing
evidence that the respondent's conduct constituted an
ethics violation, the commission shall issue a written
report that shall include findings of fact and conclusions
of law. The commission shall publicly disclose the written
report and provide it, along with all evidence collected
during its investigation, ...

11. D. If, after consideration of all the evidence, the
commission does not find by clear and convincing evidence
that the respondent's conduct constituted an ethics
violation, the commission shall dismiss the complaint and
provide notice of the dismissal to the respondent and
complainant no later than five days after the finding is made.
A notice issued pursuant to this subsection shall not be
public except upon the request of the respondent.

11. E. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Open
Meetings Act, commission hearings held pursuant to this
section are closed to the public. The commission shall
promulgate rules establishing procedures for hearings.

12. All complaints, reports, files, records and
communications collected or generated by the commission
or its director that pertain to alleged ethics violations are
confidential and not subject to the provisions of the
Inspection of Public Records Act.

14. A. The commission shall not accept or review
complaints concerning conduct that occurred more than
three years prior to the day the complaint is received by
the commission.

14. B. The commission shall not take action on a
complaint filed or initiated against a candidate for a public
office covered by the State Ethics Commission Act on or
after the filing date for a primary election through
election day of the general election, ...

14. C. The commission shall not investigate allegations
of misconduct involving campaign advertisements.

16. A. A person who discloses any confidential
complaint, report, file, record or communication in violation
of the State Ethics Commission Act is guilty of a
misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a
fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by
imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

16. B. In addition to a penalty imposed pursuant to
Subsection A of this section, a court may impose a civil
penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars
($25,000) for each violation of Section 12 of the State
Ethics Commission Act. (confidentiality section)

GOVERNMENTS.--By January 1, 2013, the state ethics
commission shall submit a report to the legislature and
the governor regarding the extension of commission
jurisdiction to elected and appointed officials and
employees of political subdivisions of the state. ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whose call is it?

When the legislature convenes in January, it will be in response to a call from the governor.

Governor Bill Richardson
will tell us, what it is
that we will talk about.

You can bet that rooting out corruption in state government will not be on his list of things to talk about.

How does that sit with you?

Perhaps you disagree with me on the width and depth of public corruption and incompetence in New Mexico State Government. Perhaps you disagree on the problem or the cure.

But if you concede that there is any public corruption and incompetence at all, why should we have to put up with it, on the second day the legislature meets.

On day two, our state government could be a model for the free world, of transparent accountability.

If on day one, those who represent us, put the public best interests at the top of their list.

Whose call is it, what will be talked about on day one?

photo Mark Bralley

State auditor proposes legislative reform.

State Auditor Hector Balderas has put together two proposals that would provide penalties for those who obstruct audits and for agencies that don't turn audits in on time, link.

It looks like baby steps in the right direction making it

"... unlawful to make a false, misleading or unfounded report to the state auditor and to intentionally hinder or obstruct an audit, special audit, examination or investigation."
and then calling it a misdemeanor.

A "must read" satire on the leadership of the UNM


And, a rather disappointing result in the effort to hold a
confidence vote on UNM leadership, link.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Any answer except yes, means no.

I sometimes write posts in answer to an objection that has been raised in opposition to some arguement I have advanced. This post is one of those.

I am told, truth telling is not black and white, and further that,
I am mistaken in arguing that any answer except yes, means no.

The truth is not black or white. I agree.

But the decision; whether to surrender to an impartial process
to determine the truth, is. You are either subject to a process
that ou cannot manipulate, or you are not; yes or no,
black or white.

Truth telling is an overt act. You have to say something
in order to tell the truth. While silence may not be lying,
neither is it telling the truth.

One cannot have uttered the truth,
if they have uttered nothing at all.

If the question is;

Will you promise to tell the truth?
refusing to answer the question is a prima facie "not telling the truth". It is self evident, it is clear on its face, it is utterly indisputable.

If you have not told the truth, your promise to tell the truth
is broken by that refusal.

When Diane Denish, or any other politician or public servant
will not promise to tell the truth, they have answered the
question, they will not tell the truth about their intention to
tell the truth.

Any answer except yes, does mean, no.

Diane Denish says no(?) to public records review panel.

Three of us are watching the same video, link, Excerpt #3.

KKOB's political reporter and blogger, Peter St Cyr asked
gubernatorial hopeful Diane Denish if she would support an
independent review panel to provide oversight over public
records requests.

I am outnumbered, two to one. My friends argue that she
answered yes, she would support such a panel.

I believe still, she dodged the question and instead offered up
a reiteration of her support for "more timely production and
fewer redactions".

It is a distinction with a difference.

However the question is asked, it boils down to one question
fundamentally; will the surrender of public records be subject
to due process?
Will records be surrendered rather
immediately and will they be subject to redaction according to
agreed upon principles? Will the redaction be ethical and impartial?

If an oversight body is established, then politicians and public servants can no longer hide the public records of their mis, mal, and non-feasance through excessive and unwarranted redaction and delay.

In theory, the right to inspect public records is enforceable under the law. In practice, the law is of little use, especially when time is of the essence. In order to enforce the law, you are required to hire your own lawyer who will argue with government's lawyers whose salary you pay as well. Since there is no penalty for being obtuse, they will be. They will argue legal points established long since, to gain another thirty days in the process.

If public records were actually accessible under the law,
they would be accessible, and they are not.

If you need proof to substantiate the above two paragraphs,
you are invited to ask the leadership of the APS to show you
the public records that show how many tax dollars have been
squandered at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Diane Denish herself, recently admitted,
if there was transparency in state government,
we wouldn't be talking about it now.

Without an independent and powerful oversight body, we remain where we are; no matter how strongly any political candidate feels about "timely production and fewer redactions".

On Friday, I emailed both Denish's campaign website and her personal Public Information Officer, Sam Thompson, and asked for clarification.
I asked;

Can I have a candid and forthright statement of (Denish's) intentions with respect to forming an independent review panel for public records requests, and her vision of the scope and power that review board would have.
I also asked that the receipt of my question be acknowledged
even if I had to wait longer for a response to the actual question.

I have received no response to either request.

I have long argued, and I argue still, if the question is;
Do you intend to tell the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.

I believe that when asked if she really intended to create an oversight body for public records requests, a body that was impartial and powerful enough to compel production of ethically redacted public records from even the most powerful politician or public servant,
Diane Denish's
response means, no,

even if the actual word "no" never crossed her lips.

photo Mark Bralley

Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs in the APS.

In colleges and universities there are ROTC programs. Upon graduation, those students are eligible for commissions in the armed forces. ROTC programs in high schools are called Junior ROTC programs.

Their stated purpose;

"... to instill in students in ... the values of citizenship,
service to the United States, and personal responsibility
and a sense of accomplishment."
The question; whether there should be JROTC programs in APS middle and high schools.

I have a prejudice; my personal experience is a number of my middle school students, who were "at risk" by conventional measures, went on to high school, joined the JROTC program and as a result, matured into young men and women with huge potential.

JROTC programs are specifically and explicitly prohibited from "recruiting" impressionable young people. There are those, who have been speaking up at public forums during school board meetings, link, who are arguing that "recruiting" is going on nevertheless. Some are arguing against JROTC programs even if they are not recruiting.

Historically, there have been civilizations that honored their
warrior class. And then there are those who believe,
if only there were no warriors, there would be no wars.

There are two entirely separate questions;
  1. should there be JROTC programs in public schools, and

  2. should there be "recruiting" going on in those programs?
Those questions are appropriate for public discourse.

For myself, I say yes to the one, no to the other.

Stakeholders shut out again.

There is a vigorous debate going on; whether to continue to
have Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in public schools.

Those who cannot attend board meetings,
because they are scheduled to begin
when most people are still at work,
have been assured that they can watch
the meetings later, on the district's website.

Tens of thousands, maybe a hundred
thousand dollars have been spent on
equipment and salaries as part of the
effort to keep stakeholders informed.

The actual dollar amount is still secret.

The meetings take place Wednesday afternoon, and the district has promised the meeting will be up for viewing by the following Friday. No explanation has ever been offered as to why it takes even that long.

Well here it is, Tuesday morning, and the archived meeting is still not up. This wouldn't be the first time that controversial public forums have not been broadcast. I personally, have been victim to a number of occasions where my presentations were deleted altogether or in substantial part.

photos Mark Bralley

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trouble at Jimmy Carter Middle School, more cover ups.

The beleaguered Jimmy Carter Middle School will be the
focus of more public attention this week as some long kept secrets and a few new ones, make their way out of the dark and into the light.

You will remember JCMS as the school where a teacher recently admitted to having sex with one of her students, link.

Before that, a teacher was accused of an assault on a student, was "appropriately disciplined" by the district and then returned to work, link.

Last year, there was the school climate survey, the results of which were quite damning of the administration, and were kept essentially secret from stakeholders, link.

Just revealed, a teacher choked a student and "body slammed" him to the floor in a crowded hallway. The incident was witnessed by many students and staff, link.

In a matter still to revealed, another teacher at that school has been accused of inappropriate touching of female students.

A common thread in all of these incidents is the effort by the leadership of the APS, to keep secret the details of the incidents.

The choking and body slamming of the student in the hallway, actually occurred last April and is just now coming to light.

Parents are justifiably outraged over being kept in the dark. They feel they have a right to know if a staff member has behaved inappropriately with students at school.

The leadership of the APS feel differently. KRQE reports;

Parents argued, they should have been notified about the
alleged attack, but APS said it didn't think it needed to
notify all parents.
(emphasis added)
Apparently, the parents of the students directly involved were notified. That has not always been the case. In one case, the parents of the student who was attacked were kept in the dark, as were as the APD police officers who were stationed at the school, link.

Stakeholders have a right to know the truth.

There are rare cases where the truth is kept from stakeholders
for good and ethical reasons. The Inspection of Public Records Act, and Open Meetings Act, between them, delineate all of the accepted exceptions. All of the rest of the truth belongs to stakeholders.

The controversy over whether APS stakeholders' right to know the truth is not new.

As long ago as the mid 1990's, the leadership of the APS was fighting against truth telling. At the time, I was a member of the union team that was negotiating the next teacher contract. The union's position was that teachers, and by logical extension, all stakeholders, have a right to know what is going on at their school.

Then AHS Principal Tom Savage argued against truth telling, saying,
"If I told the truth about what is going on at my school,
the realtors in my neighborhood would have my neck."
A week later, I was sitting across the table from West Point graduate and then APS Superintendent, Peter Horoscak.
He also refused to codify truth telling, explaining;
"You can't just tell the truth, you don't know how
someone might want to use it."
When the scandal in the APS Police Department, link, was uncovered, the then promoted to senior administrator, Tom Savage ordered employees to keep their mouths shut (or be fired for insubordination) link. The whole truth about that scandal is still being kept from stakeholders three years later, link.

The APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct, require students to respond to legitimate questions by answering candidly, forthrightly, and honestly.

As role models of the standards they establish and enforce upon students, the leadership of the APS is compelled to do the same; answer legitimate questions candidly, forthrightly, and honestly. But they don't want to. Their only two choices;
  1. abdicate as role models, or

  2. lower the student standards of conduct to ones that do not require truth telling.
They're between a rock and a hard place, so their choice is to
stonewall the question.

When asked, they will not even admit that the Pillars of Character Counts! are actually the student standards of conduct. Nor will they admit to any responsibilities as role models of the student standards of conduct.

Their ongoing obstruction of an independent review of administrative standards and accountability is a manifestation of their unillingness to all stakeholders to know the truth.

A recent audit by the Council of the Great City Schools revealed that APS administrators routinely falsified crime statistics to protect the reputations of their schools.

The leadership of the APS, if you could get them to answer the question at all, would argue that they hide the truth in the public best interests.

The truth is, they hide the truth to cover their own asses.

It is as simple as that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Ex-Cop Describes the "Blue Wall"

In a Journal report under that title, link, we read;

As a sworn Albuquerque Police Department officer for two decades, Sam Costales said he saw dozens of instances of police misconduct but never saw anyone reported for it, nor did he see any officer written up for failing to report the misdeeds, despite official policy requiring it.
"So long as you stayed behind the 'blue wall of silence,' nothing happened to you?" his attorney Randi McGinn asked Costales on Friday during testimony in Costales' civil lawsuit against APD and its once and future police chief Ray Schultz.
"Yes," he said.
In sworn testimony, APD Police Chief Ray Schultz denied the existence of a "blue wall of silence", link.

It's rather like denying the existence of racism and bigotry,
or loyalty.

Is our new Chief of Police
really that clueless,

or just that dishonest?

photo Mark Bralley

Pork barrel project abuse revealed.

Capital outlay, spending tax dollars on infrastructure, is where
you find "pork barrel" projects, wikilink.

It is also where you will find a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse.

To their credit, though long overdue, the Legislative Finance Committee is doing some snooping around; some spot auditing; they're not auditing all spending, just some representative samples. The results point to the need to audit all spending.

Recently, they audited school spending, link. Not surprisingly they found huge problems.

More recently, they spot audited capital outlay spending, and, according to a Journal report, found the same thing;

"Poor record-keeping, errors in reporting expenditures and unforeseen project costs continue to plague New Mexico's capital outlay spending, says a report by the Legislative Finance Committee."
It is nearly a statistical impossibility that the spot checks are flukes, that they don't accurately reflect spending in general. In general, our tax dollars are being wasted in utterly inexcusable amounts.

The only ray of hope, according to Journal capital bureau reporter Dan Boyd;
To remedy the problem, the LFC report suggested creating a committee to oversee capital outlay spending, setting up a division within state government to monitor such appropriations and establishing a special fund to pay for capital outlay audits.
Which begs a few questions;
  1. Why is there not already legislative oversight over capital spending?
  2. Why is there not already, a division within state government to monitor appropriations? and
  3. Why is there not already, a special fund for capital outlay audits?
No mention in the report, that the Legislative Finance Committee, or anyone else, is fighting for funding for the State Auditor's Office.

The State Auditor Hector Balderas states repeatedly,
if he had the resources he needs, he can audit waste, fraud,
and abuse out of existence.

Nobody seems to want to hear him.

photo Mark Bralley

Journal editors on Schultz rehiring.

Journal editors have weighed in on the rehiring of Ray Schultz as Chief of Police. link.

The premise they challenge is, police chiefs should change for the sake of change.

If there is a stink about a government, and there is a stink surrounding the Chavez administration, then there is a reason to change for change's sake.

Further, there are specific reasons to give Schultz the boot, and the editors named them;

  1. "He wasn't open about punishments handed out in the evidence-room scandal,
  2. forthright in explaining why so few of his 1,100-plus officers take calls,
  3. logical in his defense of a $91,000 Suburban as a recruiting tool or
  4. his off-duty officers who mucked up a Los Lunas crime scene, or
  5. accountable in his release of inaccurate red-light camera stats.
  6. He also stonewalled when APD's reserve officer program came under fire."

Most recently, and under oath, he denied the existence of the "blue wall of silence", link.

And then, of course, there is the elephant in the room; the comments on the backside of the Eye on Albuquerque, link, which everyone seems to want to ignore. As I wrote, those comments are either nonsense or not, link.

The fact they are being ignored lends credence to them.

The fact that Schultz won't even talk about a survey of the rank and file, a vote of confidence if you will, indicates that he doesn't think he would fair well if one were done. Consider the feather in his cap that a successful vote of confidence would represent, the unrest it would settle.

There are a lot of good reasons to bring in a new chief, or better yet promote someone from within the department.

Change for the sake of change, is not the least of them.

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, November 20, 2009

Larry Barker uses the "L" word.

KRQE's Larry Barker broke the story about another courthouse
scandal; this one in Santa Fe.

He reports that Santa Fe County Manager Román Abeyta
to him. He offers proof, link.

What consequences will befall a public servant who betrays
the public trust; who lies about the public interests and about
his public service?

If he makes it through the news cycle, likely nothing.
He is likely somebody's cousin or crony.

The system does not provide for holding the powerful and the
privileged actually accountable for their corruption.

They can lie to you and get away with it.

If this time next year, I report that Abeyta is still the Santa Fe
County Manager, just like nothing ever happened,

will you be in the least bit, surprised?

The leadership of the APS will be needing another $617,000,000.00

To be fair; students, teachers and communities need another

The simple truth is that the money is for a good cause.

I guess.

It is more than a little difficult to find out exactly what they
will be spending the money on.

Currently, if you wanted to, you cannot find out how much
of the last bond issue and mill levy money they spent on
their new boardroom; a still unjustified extravagance.

The leadership of the APS says they spend around 1% of their budget on administrative salaries.

They say it is less than in "comparable" districts.

1% sounds like a low number; the sound is specious.

Either a dollar is well spent, or it is not. A wasted dollar is
a wasted dollar. What percent it represents of some other
amount of money doesn't make any difference.

There are people whose job it is, to go into bureaucracies
to ferret out waste, abuse, and the practices that enable

If those people looked into the administration of our trust and our treasure in the APS, what would they find?

Would they find unequivocal standards of conduct and competence?

Would they find inescapable accountability to those standards?

If they did, they could report to voters that their investment in their schools is well protected by real standards and real accountability.

That report would be a powerful tool to use in convincing taxpayers to trust them with more than a half of a billion more dollars.

You have to wonder why that survey will not be done.

Except that the investigators would not find adequate standards
and sufficient accountability.

Except that the leadership of the APS wants to hide those truths from voters.

Just recently, auditors from Meyners + Co, audited APS' Financial Division.

They found;

  1. inadequate standards, and
  2. insufficient accountability, and
  3. inadequate bookkeeping.
They found that there never had been; adequate standards,
sufficient accountability, and adequate bookkeeping.

The leadership of the APS would have you believe that,
they are all in place now.

But you will have to take their word for it.

They will "never agree" to any audit that "individually identifies"
a corrupt or incompetent administrator or board member.

Trust us, they say. Your $617M will be kept safe from waste and abuse.

When the object is to protect 617,000,000 dollars from waste
and abuse, trusting human nature, runs a far distant second to
honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

If the leadership of the APS will not commission an independent review of their bureaucracy, if they will not demonstrate to us that our tax dollars will be safe,

we need to seriously consider voting down the bond issue.

If there is any other way,
what is it?

Non-specific solutions for specific problems.

New Mexico has a few problems.

Everyone who is running for governor says they intend to solve them.

But they don't say how they intend to do it.

No one will lay a plan on the table that will make ethically redacted public records immediately available.

No one will lay a plan on the table that will make government as transparent as it can be made.

No one will lay a plan on the table that will make it impossibly difficult to hide corruption and incompetence.

No one will lay a plan on the table that will hold politicians and public servants within their public service, honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, and even against their will.

Unless we want to rely upon serendipitous solutions,
solutions will need to be planned.

There needs to be plans.
Solutions follow plans; detailed plans; explicit plans.

Why not?

Why can we not ask to see their plans?

Why won't they surrender them for critical comparison,
except that, their plans don't compare.

Or don't exist at all.

Surrender to due process.

In the end, there is only one kind of accountability;
complete surrender, without reservation, to due process.

If there is a standard, and you are held accountable to that standard by an impartial system, powerful enough to hold you accountable even against your will, you are accountable to that standard.

If at any point, you can influence the process, or skirt the process all together, you cannot claim you are honestly accountable.

The redaction of public records is not done by due process.

Some may argue that the legal process represents due process;
it does not.

An honest Ethics Commission constitutes due process. And
that is precisely why politicians and public servants oppose one.

Surrendering to due process constitutes the burning of a bridge;
once you create it, there is no going back.

Even the politicians and public servants with the most character and courage, seem unwilling to take the step that will hold them honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service, without reservation.

Apparently, they have not character and courage enough.

If there is any other explanation, now would be a good time
to lay in on the table for criticism.

How many more examples of waste and abuse do we need?

Every audit done on governmental agencies reveals waste and
abuse. It is a regular as clockwork. It is as inevitable as the
rising sun.

Steve Terrel, link, points to some auditing done by the
Legislative Finance Committee. Not surprisingly, they found
problems. Terrel writes;

One LFC staffer said these audits "barely scratch the surface" of waste and abuse in some school districts.
The fundamental problem is a lack of oversight; period.

There are agencies of government whose task is to oversee
the spending of public resources and power. There is not one
with the power and resources it needs to do actually do the
job it has been assigned.

As but one example; if the Office of the State Auditor was
funded according to need, State Auditor Balderas says he
can put an end to the culture of incompetence and corruption.

As another example; the Attorney General's Office.

The decision to keep these agencies underfunded and under
staffed correlates directly with the amount of corruption and
incompetence that goes undiscovered and un-ended.

Public records reform a must.

In the Journal this morning, link, the editors point to the decision by the New Mexico Environment Department, to stop wasting tax dollars obstructing the release of public records.

The records in question are a consultant's report on potential groundwater contamination risks at a landfill operated by Sandia National Laboratories. They wrote;

This week the department abandoned its position that the public might be “confused” if the report recommends one thing and the agency does something else.

The report, paid for by taxpayers, clearly was in the public's health and safety interests. But the New Mexico Environment Department has spent thousands in taxpayer dollars for legal fees to try to keep it under wraps on the ridiculous claim that it fell under “executive privilege,” even though the state Attorney General's Office and a district court judge said it was public record. (emphasis added)
There is an obvious and unavoidable "appearance of a conflict of interest" in allowing politicians and public servants to do their own redaction of the public records they are required to surrender under the NM Inspection of Public Records Act.

All records of the spending of public resources and power are public records. Not all public records should be made public; there are good and ethical reasons to keep some records from public knowledge. The NMIPRA recognizes them, and provides exceptions from surrender.

Whether a record is subject to surrender or not, it is still a public record. It belongs to the public, not to the individual, department, office, or agency that created it.

There is no reason that the redaction of public records is the sole responsibility of the person who happens to have that record in their possession. In fact, there is no reason that that person should be able to redact the record in the first place; it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest. It provides that opportunity to redact records unnecessarily in order to protect personal or departmental interests.

In this particular case, the records were redacted for no reason except that the NMED did not want to deal with the "confusion" created by their decision to ignore the findings of their consultant.

A simple and effective reform;
all requests for public records go to one office. That office would
retrieve the record, redact it appropriately, and then surrender
it immediately.

If there is going to be a fight over the surrender of records,
the fight should be between this office and those holding the
records, not between a powerless requester and a powerful
politician or public servant underwritten by the power and
resources of their office.

The redaction process must be "due process". The record holder
and the record seeker must have equal standing in questioning
any redaction. The final decision must be principled and impartial.

No one in the NMED is going to be held accountable for wasting tax dollars in the pointless litigation of this case; there is no penalty for politicians and public servants playing games with public records.

I suspect that self-redaction of public records may be the current process, not because it is the best process, not because anyone made a deliberate decision to do it that way, but simply because that is the way it has "always been done".

Well, it needs to be done differently, starting now.

Candidates for Governor, are invited to reveal their plan to
end the unnecessary redaction and delay, part and parcel to
the current process.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walls of silence.

"Walls of silence", as in, the "blue wall of silence", behind which
it is "alleged" that police officers protect each other from honest
accountability for each others misconduct.

There is a similar "wall of silence" behind which good ol' boys
protect each other from honest accountability for each others'
corruption and/or incompetence.

Which begs a question; what color is their wall?

Brown makes sense; so does green; and yellow does too.

Ink hardly dry; Schultz' character in question.

The ink is barely dry on the paperwork Mayor-elect Richard Berry signed making Ray Schultz his Chief of Police.

Yet today, the Journal reports, link, on disturbing admissions by Schultz relative to a lawsuit being litigated in US District Court.

Stemming from the BCSO arrest of one of the Unsers, APD Officer Sam Costales testified against the sheriff's deputies who made the arrest. His lawsuit is over the retaliation he suffered for breaking the "blue wall of silence"; the very existence of which, Schultz apparently denied. According to the Journal report

The phrase "blue wall of silence" refers to a monolithic showing of solidarity by police officers that is at the heart of Costales' case and the very existence of which is disputed by Schultz and Lt. Brian Carr. (emphasis added)
How can anyone deny the existence of the "blue wall of silence".

The Journal reports that a previous Journal story related that Schultz was
"launching an investigation into whether Costales violated
department policy by failing to report perceived misconduct
of other officers through his chain of command."

Grilled by Costales' attorney Randi McGinn, Schultz
acknowledged that his comments to the reporter
were made before he had looked into the matter.

Schultz said that, even after he learned Costales had told
Carr, his lieutenant, right after Unser's arrest that
"it didn't have to happen that way," he had not made
efforts to set the record straight.

(emphasis added)

Now if you were an APD cop, how would you feel about being hung out to dry for telling the truth about the misconduct of other officers.

It would appear that a lot of what is written about the Chief on the backside of the Eye on Albuquerque may be based in fact.

It is a shame if Berry didn't talk to any of the rank and file, before deciding to keep Schultz on as Chief.

photo Mark Bralley

Why does Ed Adams get a bye?

Ed Adams ran the Department of Municipal Development at a time when taxpayers were getting ripped off big time, link. They got ripped off due to incompetence at the very least, by corruption in all likelihood.

There is no reason at all to suppose there was only this example of corruption and incompetence in the management of development contracts.

On the contrary, it is reasonable to suppose that if it were truly an isolated incident, they would be saying so instead of saying nothing.

Not only does Ed Adams not have to explain, defend, or deny that he knowingly permitted or negligently allowed corruption and incompetence, he doesn't even have to acknowledge its existence.

And now we have to wonder about Berry's competence and character. If he "knows nothing" about the Mountain West Golfscapes scandal, you have to wonder about his competence. How thoroughly did was Adams vetted, if no one knows about a colossal rip off of tax dollars on his watch?

If Berry knows about the Mountain West Golfscapes scandal, and he puts Adams in a position of power and influence anyway, why is Berry's character not is question?

He is either ignoring incompetence and corruption, or
he is enabling them.

He is either compliant or complicit.

photos Mark Bralley

The power and the resources belong to the people, the control over them does not.

We have no choice but to hand over control over power and
resources that are fundamentally our own.

We have no choice but to trust public servants and politicians
to wield our power and spend our resources in our best interests.

Yet, if you ask them if they will promise to tell you the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
about how they are spending your power and resources,
they will not answer the question.

When the question is;

Do you promise to tell the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.

And yet, we go right ahead and hand over the control over
our power and resources.

We go right ahead and trust them.

I don't get it. How can you trust someone
who won't promise to tell you the truth?

Why would you?

Truthtelling is the foundational ethic.

Ethics reform to date, amounts to selecting the most ethically indefensible things that a politician or public servant could do, and then prohibit them individually.

I have not yet seen ethics reform that rests on the foundation of truth telling.

If the truth is not on the table, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
what difference is made, by any other ethic?

No one will ever be held accountable for misconduct they can hide.

Any "ethics reform" that does not rest on a foundation of truth telling, is a failure on its face.

How can you talk about ethics and not talk about telling the truth?

Why is it unreasonable to expect a candidate for public service or political office, to raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the public interests and about their public service?

How can you run for public service or political office,
without ever having to promise to tell the truth
when you get there?

Every legitimate question about the public interests or about their public service deserves a candid, forthright, and honest response, and rather immediately.

It is not alright for a public servant or politician to say;

I am not going to answer any more questions.

Doug Turner sprints into the lead, then falls down.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Turner has set himself apart from the pack. He offers the most powerful endorsement of any candidate of any party, in support of the Inspection of Public Records Act;

New Mexico needs to elect a governor who will strengthen our Inspection of Public Records Act. The current version lacks the teeth of serious enforcement when a bureaucrat or politician defies it. Willfully withholding public documents from the public, media or other inquiring stakeholders should be a fourth-degree felony, and we need a governor who will fight for such consequences, link.
As powerful as that statement is, Turner still falls short of the need.

There are only two kinds of public records;
  1. those which belong in the hands of the public, and

  2. those which do not (for good and ethical reasons).

They are separated currently, by the people who create them, and who might have the greatest need to keep them secret for as long as possible.

They need to be separated by due process instead.

Any public record that needs redaction, should be redacted
according to a process that provides ethical redaction.
The difference between "legal" redaction and "ethical"
redaction is readily apparent.

Legal redaction surrenders "every record that the law requires".

Ethical redaction surrenders "every record that the law allows".

The difference is considerable.

As much as we need a Governor "who will fight for ... consequences" for those who interfere with legal redaction,
we need more

We need a Governor who will make ethically redacted
public records immediately available upon request.

We need a Governor who will promise to tell us the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the public
interests, and about their public service.

We need a Governor who will promise,
requests for public records will result in an ethically redacted
copy of the record being posted on the internet within a very few days, at the very most.

It is not technologically impossible.

It takes only character and courage.

photo Mark Bralley

The "Eye on Albuquerque", all seeing or just a bunch of crap?

If you read a local blog called the Eye on Albuquerque, you are invited to buy into at least two assumptions;

  1. the blogger and many of those who comment on his posts are "in the know" about what is going on in City Hall, and in particular, about what is going on in the Albuquerque Police Department. and

  2. there are things going on there that amount to serious incompetence and outright corruption.
They are seriously upset that Mayor-elect Berry is keeping so many of the old hacks from the last administration, as players in the new.

They are really upset that APD's new chief is the same as the old chief.

The concerns are either founded or unfounded.

If they are unfounded, the reputation of Chief Ray Schultz and his department could be easily rehabilitated through impartial fact finding.

If that same impartial fact finding determines the concerns are founded in fact, there are serious, serious problems in the police department that negatively impact its ability to serve and protect.

In either case, there is a need for impartial fact finding. In either case, there is no good and ethical reason to not find the facts. (Cost is utterly inconsequential).

On the other hand, if the concerns are in deed, founded in fact, there are a million "good" reasons to avoid the fact finding. There are as many "good" reasons as there are asses that need to be covered.

Refusing to do independent fact finding creates the appearance of impropriety. It provides fodder for those who believe there is something to hide; a cover up.

Look at the damage done to the reputations of UNM's Sanchez, Schmidly, Krebs, and Gonzales, over their refusal to allow an independent review of the handling of Locksley Gate. You would be hard pressed to find a single person who does not believe that there was a cover up.

The old mayor said, "I don't pay any attention to blogs."

The new mayor might well reconsider that stance.
Maybe if he pulls his head out of that hole in the ground,
he might find, the chief really does have no clothes.

He might find Ed Adams has no clothes, either.

photos Mark Bralley

Investigative reporters a dying breed, PIOs breeding like rabbits.

There are those would would gather and tell the truth, and
there are those who would spin the truth.

One is a dying breed, not from lack of need, but rather from
lack of resources.

The other is breeding like rabbits, not from a need, but from
virtually unlimited funding by means of unwitting taxpayer

We should not lose sight of the fact, spinning the truth
amounts to lying.

If we cannot increase the numbers of investigative reporters,
perhaps we can at least limit the number of "spinners" and
the amount of spin they are allowed to impart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No worries; there will be an "internal investigation".

The Public Regulation Commission, might turn out to be the most corrupt and incompetent agency in state government.

Never the less, PRC Chairman Sandy Jones intends to get out "in front of the problem" by means of an "internal investigation".

Heads will roll; trust him.

You have no choice but to trust him, because the results of their
little "internal investigation" will be kept secret.

They will claim they have to do with "personnel issues" and
are therefore excepted from public records law.

If this has a familiar ring to it, think of Locksley Gate.

Or think about the "internal investigation" that followed the
Meyners Audit revelations about APS' Finance Division;

  • inadequate policies, and
  • inadequate accountability, and
  • inadequate record keeping.
They did their own" internal investigation" and will not answer
questions about any criminal misconduct they might have found.

They did an "internal investigation" of felony criminal misconduct
by APS senior administrators, link, three years ago. He records
are still secret because they are still "investigating", long after
statutes of limitation have expired.

The N.M. Educational Retirement Board investigated internally.
The State Investment Council investigated internally.
We're out millions and the whole truth is still hidden.

And now. the PRC will investigate itself.

And this is alright with everybody?

Only bad can come from allowing the people who negligently
allowed and/or knowingly permitted corruption and incompetence, to conduct "internal investigations" of the corruption and incompetence they enabled.

It is rather like allowing a bank robber to investigate the robbery.

The number of banks being robbed increases exponentially.

It is at times like these, I find myself wondering wtf?

Krebs headed for confidence vote.

According the Journal this morning, link, UNM Athletics Director Paul Krebs is headed for a confidence vote by UNM students. The vote will be entirely symbolic as students have no actual seat at any table where decisions are made.

According to the Journal;

Graduate student leaders at the University of New Mexico are laying the groundwork for a no-confidence vote in Athletics Vice President Paul Krebs over his handling of the Mike Locksley altercation.
No mention of;
UNM Regents President Raymond Sanchez' handling of,
UNM President David Schmidly's
handling of,
Paul Krebs
handling of,
Locksley Gate.

Apparently Krebs is to be the scapegoat for mishandling of the situation from top to bottom.

Journal reporter Martin Salazar wrote;
"The recent coverup of the Locksley-Gerald incident coupled with the egregious lack of sportsmanship displayed by Lambert exemplifies a lack of leadership within the UNM Athletics Department. ..." association President Lissa Knudsen said in the release. "It's time for the students to weigh in on this."
Students should be allowed the opportunity to weigh in at every level, not just at the level of the UNM A D.

Students should reconsider the scope of their proposed voting, and weigh in on the refusal by the leadership of the UNM to begin an cleansing audit of the whole chain of command.