Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whistle blowing requires a whistle

APS Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge blew the whistle on the bully in Supt Winston Brooks. She blew the whistle by means of emails to a number of people.

She is taking some heat for the "manner" in which she blew the whistle; mass emailing. Though electronic, it is fundamentally no different than blowing an actual whistle. The idea is that a number of people will hear you, and maybe some of them will help.

The idea in any mass mailing is the hope that you will hit upon someone who isn't potentially complicit or complacent in the conspiracy to keep your complaint under wraps.

There is nowhere in the APS where a complaint against an administrator or board member is guaranteed due process. Brooks has the authority, and has exercised the authority to close complaints against himself.

So where was Ethridge supposed to have complained?

To the School Board? That is in fact, quite logical.
The Superintendent reports to the Board; they hire him.

School Board President Marty Esquivel has no right to be upset that the complaint was brought to him. His upset was that the whole thing was not handled in secret. He is running for re-election to the school board. He does not want his handling of the allegation to be used against him in February. His handling; sweeping it all under the rug.

To the Journal? The Journal is holding the rug up while Esquivel sweeps. Brooks, Esquivel, and Journal Editor Kent Walz are thick as thieves. Walz just gave Brooks a Dixon Award, does anyone really suppose he will investigate and report upon credible allegations of a hostile work environment, created by his crony?

To the court system? It looks likely that we will see how she fares there. But things have a way of disappearing. What ever happened to the federal law suit against Brooks and school board heavy hitter Paula Maes?

Tax dollars, lots of tax dollars, will be spent by APS/Modrall to litigate exception to the law for both Brooks and Maes. Ethridge's row to hoe is going to be a tough one. Modrall is one of the most powerful law firms in the state, and enjoys an unlimited budget by means of a large bore pipeline to tax dollars for education.

To Silentwhistle? The School Board's Audit Committee is required by School Board Policy to provide review and approval of every single whistleblower complaint. Marty Esquivel and the rest, have yet to review a single complaint.

He too was in on the Brooks' Dixon Award.

He goes down with Brooks, he hired him.
He extended his contract, twice.
He gave Brooks a half million dollar golden parachute.

To the APS PD? Maybe she should have gone to APS Police Chief Steve Tellez. He is currently the subject of a vote of no confidence from his rank and file, and happens to be the person most responsible legally, for the fact that evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, has still not been surrendered to the DA for prosecution.

He hasn't responded to either of two emails asking when he expected to complete the now 3 1/2 year long investigation of public corruption in the leadership of the APS Police Department.

To any internal APS office? Been there done that.
Lost my tee shirt.

Bottom line is that there really is no place within APS where a legitimate complaint is guaranteed due process.

So Ethridge blew a whistle in the hope that someone would hear it, and that someone would do something.

A person drowning calls out to everybody within earshot.

There is no indication that her call was heard. She has been exiled to Siberia and likely, will think twice about rocking the boat again.

There is no impartial investigation underway.
The investigative final report will not require hiding,
it will simply be, never created.

photos Mark Bralley


Anonymous said...

I admire your determination to expose brooks (he doesn't deserve his name to be capitalized) and his cronies. I feel your frustration about the deafening silence that continues to envelop a modern Animal Farm called APS. We all know who Napoleon is in this tale and who his ferocious dogs are. But, this Animal Farm is not fictional at all and is all too horribly real. I can see how these words of Aldous Huxley, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall drive you mad" apply to you and to many of us who continue our miserable working conditions on OUR Animal Farm. But, something, anything must be done! I admire the two APS administrators who stood up against brooks and maes: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/new-mexico/nmdce/1:2010cv00710/214591/These two courageous people are giving us hope that Napoleon cannot silence all of us. May their fight for justice become a wake up call for the rest of us on Animal Farm.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
Thanks for posting the court case link... that is inspiring.
Hopefully Ruby Ethridge will have her court link soon as well.
The APS tyrants are powerful, but not invincible nor eternal.
APS'ers: there are no "sidelines" here. You either choose what's good for kids, or not! You either model strength and courage, or you model being a victim to Brooks & Co!
Choose well!

James D. Robertson said...

How is it if a complaint is leveled against Brooks - it always by a "disgruntled" employee AND why is it Brooks is always considered to be "maligned" by the "disgruntled" employee? Are there no legitimate complaints against Brooks?

Anonymous said...

He has unlimited high-end lawyers (among them Modrall & assoc) at the tax-payers expense.
HE has the monopoly, the forever Get Out Of Jail Card....
He is untouchable in many ways, and we are paying for his invulnerability!