Monday, May 30, 2011

County Commissioner taking some flak

County Payroll data is online. KRQE did a story on it, but I can't
find a link on their site. A link is provided on Errors of Enchantment, link. Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, link, supports the publication. He's taking some flak, wikilink.

Someone else first observed;

If you're taking flak, you must be over the target.

Johnson must be over the target.

As county taxpayers, we employ
a number of politicians and public
servants. Johnson believes we have
a right, not only to know how much
we are paying our employees, but
that it should be easy to find out.

The information is actually already
available. It is a public record, but
you have to be willing to do the
'request for public records dance', and pay whatever the County charges for copies (the law allows up to one dollar a page).

Why aren't all public records online in a searchable data base;
except to make it difficult to view the record of the spending of
our power and our resources?


Push back is coming from
Commissioner Art De La Cruz,
link. He admitted that the
County is already fielding
inquiries; people want to know
why other county employees are
making more money than they.

De La Cruz blew off their concerns, explaining that they are simply
ignorant that salaries depend in part on training and experience. He side-stepped the manifest truth; in Bernalillo County Government, salaries also depend on who you know; cronyism, nepotism, and political payoffs.

The single greatest resources in the fight against public corruption and incompetence in public service, are public servants and vigilant citizens. Johnson would empower them with knowledge
and De La Cruz would keep them ignorant.

Kudos to Johnson for his efforts to make transparency easy.




Johnson photo Mark BralleyDe La Cruz photo County Website

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

If you google the quotation, you will find multiple variations
attributed to as many different people. The consensus is that
Thomas Jefferson was among the first and foremost.

I find myself wondering if vigilance had a different meaning in
his time. Today, it means watching keenly to detect danger,
being ever awake and alert. And that kind of vigilance is simply
not enough. That kind of vigilance guarantees only that we will
witness the demise of our freedom and liberty.

There is a considerable gulf between what our government is,
and could be; is, and should be. The gulf exists because of we
watched it grow and were not moved to do what ever it took
to stop it.

The debt we own to those who have sacrificed their lives and
limbs in defense of our freedom demands more than opening
our eyes.

It demands that we too, wade into the fight.

May they all rest in peace.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"We expect kids to show up."

KRQE did a report on APS' "snow day" next Tuesday, link.
They reported;

"All the district would say is it expects kids to show up."
The leadership of the APS knows full well that kids are not
going to show up Tuesday in numbers anywhere near those
required to honestly call it a "school day". Their district will
not be delivering $5.5M worth of education Tuesday.

If they don't know that, their incompetence defies description.

If they know full well that kids are not going to show up,
by what standards of conduct is it honest to say they
expect that they will?

I am disappointed that the news director at KRQE would
let them get away with such a blatantly misleading statement;
especially without attribution.

Why is the statement unattributed? Is it because it's dishonest
on its face?

The statement is deliberately dishonest by any ethical standard,
and I would like to know who said it.

Was it APS Superintendent and
NM FOG Dixon Award Winner
Winston Brooks who would have
interest holders believe that kids
will be getting educated Tuesday
next?








Was it APS' Executive Director of
Communications Monica Armenta?











Was it Director of Communications
and Custodian of Public Records
Rigo Chavez?









Will some underling be flung under the bus?

The fundamental problem is that there are two standards of
conduct in the APS; one for students and one for administrators
and board members.

The student standards of conduct, link, preclude
"... all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context
statements, and even silence, that are intended
to create beliefs or leave impressions that are
untrue or misleading."
The administrative and executive standards of conduct obviously do not.

Who is responsible for deliberately creating beliefs and leaving
impressions that are untrue and misleading?

Which one of them will hold themselves honestly accountable
to the same standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon
students; the standards they tell students are the fundamental
to their character; the standards that they tell students are the
very pillars upon which their character rests.
"We should not be so worried that our children
never listen to us, as we should be worried that
they are always watching us. -Upton Sinclair
I have emailed Armenta and asked her to identify the person
to whom the statement should be attributed.

She still had not responded by the end of the day.




photos Mark Bralley

"The stupidest makeup day ever!"

KRQE newsreader Dick Knipfing introduced the story, link, on
APS' final makeup day by reporting that people are suggesting it
may be the "stupidest makeup day ever".

He feigned concern that, though it is a school day, no students
are going to attend. And if they do attend, they won't be doing
anything even remotely educational.

What he doesn't know is that the same thing happens on the
last day of school whether it falls before Memorial Day or after.
Grades and attendance records are due from teachers at the
beginning of the day on the last day. That means the books are
closed on student performance and nothing they do on the last
day counts. That's why the Del Norte student suggested that
they could go to school Tuesday to mess around and they
"can't really get in trouble".

What he means by that is not that they can't get into trouble,
just that they are unlikely to be consequenced for doing so.

Students know Tuesday is not a class day, and teachers know it.
APS' leadership does not. According to Knipfing's report, they still
"expect kids to show up." When on Tuesday, they do not, an APS'
spokesperson will say, "we are surprised no one showed up".

That statement will point to their ignorance or their dishonesty;
APS; Always Prevaricating about Something.

The administrative disconnect with the real world is noteworthy,
in particular since it is the practice in the APS, for administrators
to make all the really important decisions while teachers, who
among them share nearly 100,000 years of current teaching
experience, are effectively left out of the decision making process
entirely.

Whatever students do on Tuesday, taxpayers will not be getting
their money's worth; $5,555,555.55 give or take.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

School Board responsible for beating

A Cibola High School student is in the hospital following a fight
at school, link.

The APS School Board is responsible and, I don't mean in a
"the buck stops here" kind of a way.

It is their responsibility and duty to establish district policies
that prevent this kind of misbehavior. It is their duty and
responsibility to make sure that Supt Winston Brooks enforces
those policies.

Clearly, there is no guarantee that even the best policy no
matter how competently enforced will end all fights; but
together they would prevent most fights.

The APS School Board promised this community in 1994,
that they would assume some real responsibility for the
character that students develop at school. They have reneged
on that promise. They have abandoned completely, any
concerted effort to build the character of the 90,000 of our
sons and daughters in the APS.

In so doing, they have created an environment at school where
it is tacitly acceptable to settle disagreements with fistfights.

Their abandonment stems from their unwillingness to be held
accountable to the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the
Pillars of Character Counts!, link.

That is why they struck from their own code of conduct, the
words and the obligation;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
There is not a single board member or senior administrator
who is willing to hold themselves honestly accountable as a
senior role model of the standards of conduct they establish
and enforce upon students, even for the few hours a day they
hold students accountable to those standards.

It is telling that APS has no written discipline philosophy. The
leadership of the APS has never compiled a comprehensive list
of agreed upon principles that apply to student discipline and
the enforcement of discipline policies. Without a philosophical
foundation, policies become arbitrary and unenforceable.

They avoid the discussion in order to avoid responsibility for
what is fundamentally an administrative failure to maintain
educationally efficient and effective school climates.

It is an administrative responsibility to enforce school discipline
policies. While a teacher has an obvious responsibility to ask
students to stop misbehaving, if the student's response means
"no", when a student defies legitimate authority, that student
and that problem are an administrative responsibility.

Do we really want to spend the time and energy of our best
and brightest teachers on chronically disruptive students, or
do we want to spend them on students who are there to learn?

There are two reasons to avoid an open and honest discussion
of standards and accountability in Albuquerque Public Schools
beginning with the leadership and with honest accountability
as role models of the student standards of conduct;
  1. a lack of character, and/or
  2. a lack of moral courage
If there is third; I cannot imagine it, and nobody in the leadership
of the APS can articulate it.

Not even Monica Armenta.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

But Billy did it first, waaa waaa waaa

Governor Susana Martinez has mistakenly vetoed legislation governing revenue. According to the State Constitution, her authority is limited to vetoing legislation having to do with appropriations.

Martinez excused her own abuse
of power, by pointing out that
former Bill Richardson did it first.

What is this, an elementary school
playground?

Since when is it OK to do something
because someone else did it first?
In particular, when is it OK when
that "someone else" is Bill Richardson?



It should not go unnoticed that
Attorney General Gary King also
flubbed the dub on this issue.

Rep Janice Arnold-Jones alerted
him to the constitutional issues
when Richardson abused his power
by vetoing legislation dealing with
revenue.

He blew her off.


King stonewalled the complaint for so long that when he finally got back to Rep Arnold-Jones on her complaint; he was able to tell her she now "lacked standing" to make a complaint, her tenure as a legislator having expired while he did nothing about Bill Richardson's constitutional abuse.




photos Mark Bralley

Open letter to the ladies and gentlemen of the Albuquerque Press Women

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Albuquerque Press Women, link,

At your last luncheon, you were offered "The World According to APS" according to APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta, link.

I offer you a rebuttal; I offer you "APS According to Their Own Standards of Conduct."

I will present and defend evidence of an ongoing conspiracy between the leadership of the APS and the establishment media; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, KOB and KKOB; the purpose of which is to cover up an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Among the scandals that are being covered up by the legacy media and APS Communications Department;

  • Felony criminal misconduct by APS senior administrators in and above the APS Police Department, link,
  • Denial of due process to hundreds of whistleblower complaints filed against administrators and board members,
  • The abdication of the entire leadership of the APS from their duties as role models of the student standards of conduct, and
  • The administrative and executive unwillingness to allow any independent standards and accountability audit; in particular if it would individually identify incompetent or corrupt administrators or board members.
After my presentation I would be happy to stand and defend
every allegation with candid, forthright and honest responses
to your questions.

When we are done, I am confident that you will agree with me;
there is no explanation for the establishment media's ongoing
refusal and failure to investigate and report upon the ethics and
accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, except that
they are part of the cover up.

I would be most grateful for your time and attention.

ched macquigg




photo Mark Bralley

APS senior administrators will lose take home cars and their other perks

On that same day;

  • pigs will fly,
  • fish will speak,
  • rocks won't sink,
  • snakes will smoke,
  • frogs will grow hair,
  • hell will freeze over,
  • chickens will grow teeth,
  • fish will climb poplar trees,
  • grapes will grow on willows,
  • the sun will rise in the west,
  • white crows will fly upside down,
  • crayfish will whistle on the mountain, and
  • monkeys will fly out of my butt.

Adynatons; wikilink

Korte stirring up APS budget talks

In the Journal this morning, link,
we read that Board Member
Kathy Korte is making waves in
the budget approval process.

She is concerned that cuts are being
made in the classroom before every
conceivable cut has been made in
administration. She understands that
paying for take home cars for
administrators making the better part
of a $100K a year, looks bad.

"... she would like to see a budget plan that fills school-level needs first, before spending on central services."

Korte apparently walks her talk, declining the usual perks of
board membership; a Blackberry and laptop computer that the
other board members use to distract themselves when they're
bored; like during public forums.

Administration argues that un-funding administrative perks
like take home cars and travel, will have a negligible effect on
a billion dollars a year budget.


Board Member and coward, link,
David Peercy defends the perks;

"Guys, we can't nitpick this
budget with a few dollars here
and there. That is not going to
help us any. It may make us feel
better and it may make perception
better, but it's not going to help us
any in terms of the overall budget,
period."


He is aware of public perception, he just doesn't give a rat's ass,
period.

It's only a few thousand here and a few thousand there.
So what?




Korte photo APS
Peercy photo Mark Bralley

Robbins; teachers are greedy.

In this morning's Journal, link, we read that the APS School
Board approved a graduation schedule for next year. There
was a bit of controversy over whether seniors should attend
a full year of school and then graduate, as opposed to ending
their year weeks early and graduating before the end of the
school year.

School Board Member David Robbins
spoke in favor of having graduations in
June, after the end of the school year.

Opposing him were administrators who
pointed out that the contracts of the
teachers, administrators and activity
directors necessary to staff the graduation
ceremonies, end at the end of the school
year. In order for them to staff graduation
ceremonies in June, they would have to
either volunteer or be paid in addition to
their regular contract.

Robbins then reminisced about the good old days, 40 years ago when he graduated. He graduated in June and he doesn't "think" teachers were paid additionally to be there. He didn't clarify why as a graduating senior, he was paying any attention at all to teacher remuneration.

He summed it all up;

"It seems that we've gotten into a system where every
time we ask the teacher to do something for the students,
they have their hand out, saying 'Pay me.'

That, I think, is what's partly wrong with our entire society."
So, greedy teachers are what's (partly) wrong with our entire society.

Or, perhaps, clueless school board members are.




photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"The panel, which does not vote and operates by concensus ..."

I was doing a little research on one of APS' citizen advisory councils; the School Health Advisory Council, link. The SHAC is experiencing some inner turmoil. I searched APS' award winning website looking for some specific information about the turmoil and found only an ongoing failure to communicate.

The Journal presented what amounts to APS' spin, link.

Apparently some concerned citizens have gone to the SHAC to voice their concerns over the distribution of condoms on school campuses.

They have gone to the SHAC because there is nowhere else to
go. There is no Citizens Concerned About Condoms Advisory
Council; there is no venue where they can sit face to face with
APS senior administrators and board members, and have an
open and honest discussion about issues that are important
to them and to their children.

They will find no succor in the SHAC. They will have no effect
on whether the district will distribute condoms to their children
at school. They have no seat at the table where that decision
will be made.

There is a fundamental flaw in the SHAC. It is the fundamental
flaw in "advisory" councils in general; they carry no weight,
they have no decision making power. They are not even
allowed to vote!

Clearly, we cannot have citizen groups taking over decision
making in government. By the same token; we cannot have
government of the people, for the people, and by the people
if the people have no seat at the table at all.

At the very minimum, a seat at the table means a venue where
legitimate questions about the public interests can be asked
without obstruction and where council can be shared without
fear of retribution, retaliation and/or arrest. It means a venue
where there is a reasonable expectation that the leadership of
the APS will respond to those questions candidly, forthrightly
and honestly.

The asking of inconvenient questions is the source of the turmoil
in the SHAC.

Questioning is discouraged in APS advisory councils, and so
is "voting". It is a form of decision making where stakeholders
participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their interests.

Advisory councils are not allowed to vote because on occasion
they would vote (perhaps unanimously) in opposition to the
interests of administrators and/or board members. And rather
than have that on the table, they prefer consensus; of which
they can claim a 49.9% share (in the absence of controverting
ballot results) and a decision in favor of their own plan.

The most blatant and egregious example of administrative and
executive disregard for any opinion but their own, is that APS
teachers, despite their combined tens of thousands of years of
teaching experience, have no impact on decision making affecting
their interests or the interests of their students. They have never
been asked what they need from the administration and from the
board, in order to succeed.

We have lost control over our power and resources in the APS.

It is time to start taking it back.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brooks sidesteps complaint

I found out too late that
APS Supt Winston Brooks
was on KKOB this morning.

I heard only the last caller;
her complaint is common
among community members
who serve their district in
an "advisory" capacity.

She reported that she had served
in the process to solicit community input regarding APS budget cuts. She reported hours and hours of service. She complained that she felt community input was ignored and that, they felt taken advantage of for PR purposes.

Brooks ignored her complaint and defended his budget decisions.
He pointed to conditions that made it impossible for him to do anything other than what he did.

In so doing, he substantiated her complaint; all of the
community input meant nothing in the first place; there were
no decisions for the community to make. The administration
knew before they started, that community input would have
no effect on the final decisions.

It was a colossal feel good exercise.

Mostly it felt good for the leadership of the APS; for those
community members who sacrificed so much for so little,
not so good.

If you think I might be wrong about all this, I would invite you
to ask anyone who has ever served in the capacity of a
community member trying to have input in decision making
affecting their interests in the APS.

They will tell you exactly the same thing; "communications"
between the leadership of the APS and the community is a
sham.




photo Mark Bralley

APS' grad-numbers "misleading"

The Journal reports, link. that APS' "District Report Card",
published in the Journal on May 7th, included a "misleading
number of graduates for the class of 2009". They reported that
the leadership of the APS admitted that its recent “District
Report Card” included the misleading number.

In a column entitled "# of grads", the district apparently used a
number that did not reflect the number of graduates. Instead
a much larger number was used; a number that even included
"partial students".

The Journal reports;

APS spokesman Rigo Chavez said the district has always
used the total number of “student records” for the district
report card, because it is the raw number used to
calculate
graduation rates. However, Chavez said district
officials
decided to issue a clarification after board
member
David Robbins raised concerns that the numbers
might
confuse readers.
Chavez did not admit to any "mistake"; he defended a deliberate
decision based on "past practice".

The Journal then offered readers Chavez' assurances that;
"... the district will try to make the report card easier
to understand in future years."
“We will label it differently next year, and there has also
been discussion on how to change the report card so it’s
more clear to the general public as to what the numbers
mean.”

“Right now, we just take state reports and compile them
into a report card."
If you go to the website of the APS Communications Department, Link, you will find;
The Communications Department... explains complex issues to parents and the community.
It is absolutely their job to explain "complex issues"; it was
absolutely their job to take "state reports" and explain them.
It absolutely was their job to explain how many kids actually
graduate from APS high schools.

They have staff enough to explain graduation rates candidly,
forthrightly and honestly, and in words that the community can
understand.

The department consists of three communications/media relations specialists, three web specialists, and an administrative assistant (though the three web specialists were vanished recently, in an effort to confuse the NMPED and Governor Susana Martinez, they are still available to support the Communications Department mission).

They are led by... Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta.

In conclusion, Journal reports another assurance from Chavez;

though this year the community was "misled" by the Communications Department's best efforts;

"We decided we’re going to go
above and beyond
that
and
make it more clear next year.”

(emphasis added)

Above and beyond what?

They have yet to meet the barest
minimum standards. They can't
even communicate to interest holders, their success rate in their most fundamental responsibility; graduating students.

Taxpayers are ponying up almost a million dollars a year for
communication, and all they're getting for their investment is
spin.




photos Mark Bralley

Friday, May 20, 2011

Graduation Rates and Monica Math

A beleaguered local high has produced a graduating class that
is extraordinary by any reasonable measure. The leadership
of the APS would like you to believe it is more extraordinary
than it really is.

They are using Monica math to rearrange mathematical rubrics
in order to raise graduation rates beyond the rates justified by
actual increases in the performance levels of students or of the system.

At this particular high school, a mathematical weeding out of
seniors at the beginning of the year; those who weren't going
to graduate, raised the graduation rate compared to past years
when those same students would have sat through a senior year
and then not graduate.

The weeding out makes perfect sense. You just can't use the
statistical improvement it creates, to make people believe you
have actually increased levels of performance.

In the past, Monica math allowed them to add another year to
high school; a move that increased APS' graduation rate but
did not reflect any real increase in performance. It is now a
five year plan not four. While this perspective makes some sense,
it doesn't mean you get to pass it off as increased levels of performance.

Monica math also allowed them to drop from cohorts, students
who have previously failed the 9th grade. APS' graduation rate
increased mathematically, but it did not reflect any real increase in performance.

According to the standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students;

" any acts, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading"
are prohibited. They are employed at the sacrifice of one's good
character.

Monica math is being used to create beliefs and leave impressions that are untrue and misleading. By any measure this high school did well, but not as well as they would have you believe.

Statistical manipulation is not the same as improved performance.
It is nothing more than spinning of the truth.

By none of this, infer that I would have you believe that there
hasn't been increased performance at this high school. There are
an awful lot of people there who have been straining mightily
to accomplish precisely that objective.

They have proved it can be done.


They just haven't proved that
it has been done to the degree
that Monica Armenta and the
folks she works for, would like
you to believe they have.




photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Complaint filed against Brooks, Armenta, and Chavez

A complaint has been filed with APS' whistleblower complaint
program, Ethical Advocate. Previous complaints filed under
the auspices of Ethical Advocate have proved the program is
just another APS scam to create the appearance of honest
accountability where in fact, it does not exist.

Ethical Advocate, link, is a third party vendor whose function
is to strip complainants' identities from their complaints,
supposedly to mitigate the fear of the retribution and retaliation
that auditors have reported is part of APS' "culture".

The current complaint was filed to further document APS' ongoing efforts to obfuscate the surrender of public records which might embarrass the leadership of the APS.

Previously, a complaint was filed alleging that the leadership of
the APS had deliberately mislead an investigator from the
Office of the State Auditor regarding APS' ongoing denial of
due process for whistleblower complaints. That complaint
was closed with a finding of no wrong doing despite the obvious
wrong doing. The complaint was likely handed by the very
people against whom it was filed.

A request for pertinent public records which would establish
who did what in the handling of the complaint, was filed.

APS' Custodian of Public Records
Rigo Chavez has responded to the
request. He informed me that he
has the records and they are
available for inspection in his office
at a mutually agreeable time.

There is no mutually agreeable time.

As I stated in the complaint, there
are a number of legitimate reasons
why a visit by me to APS offices is
completely out of the question. From the complaint;

1) If I show up at Chavez' office, it will count as showing up to APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta's office. She has accused me of "showing up in her office everyday" and "stalking" her. I have no assurance from anyone that if I go to Chavez' office, Armenta will not continue to misconstrue the facts to try substantiate her slander and libel. In truth, I have never gone to Rigo Chavez' office except at his insistence.

2) If I show up at Chavez' office, there is every likelihood that I will be harassed by the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department who are enforcing an illegal restraining order at the behest of Board Member Marty Esquivel. I have no assurance from anyone, that if I go to Chavez' office, APS' publicly funded, private police force (their Praetorian Guard) will not try to provoke a confrontation.

3) If I show up at Chavez' office, it will aggravate disability that is recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Chavez is aware of the claim and insists that he has the authority to evaluate the extent of, and then deny, my disability.
A recently passed state law will require Chavez to surrender public records electronically; obviating the need for me to go to his (and Armenta's) office ever again.

Chavez, in defense of his refusal, will say only that it is "not his
practice" to surrender documents, or even to communicate,
electronically. He chooses instead to print hard copies (in
contradiction to APS' efforts to go "paperless") and then use
increasingly scarce dollars to buy stamps to mail them, thereby
adding additional days to his delay.

Chavez also insists upon charging 50 cents a page for copies
though under the law, he is entitled to charge only for the
"actual cost" of copying. If APS is actually paying $.50 a page
for copies that cost $.07 across the street at FedEx Kinkos,
it goes a long way toward explaining their overall inefficiency.

Though the moral and ethical obligation to comply with the
law exists, Chavez will exploit the fact that the law doesn't
take effect until July 1st. Then, he and APS' lawyers will
probably argue that the request predates the law and the
law doesn't apply to requests made before the law takes effect.

It would be so much easier, and far less expensive, for the
leadership of the APS to just tell the truth; surrender public
records electronically, upon request.

But then, that's just not the way they roll.

APS Supt Winston Brooks and the Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta are named in the complaint as co-conspirators in the effort to hide the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, from public knowledge.

APS has responded to the compliant, indicating that it will take
10 days for them to come up with some kind of response.




photo Mark Bralley

APS cuts "central" administration

APS revealed budget cuts yesterday. According to the district
website, link,

The Communications Office was cut nearly in half when
the three-member Web Team was moved to technology,
which is more consistent with their job duties.
Now APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta
has "nearly half" as many employees to supervise; she makes
$107K to supervise Rigo Chavez who makes the better part of
$100k to supervise two other people.

I would bet those 3.5 people are sitting at the same desks and
doing the same job they were doing before their jobs were "cut".

This is Leslie Molecke. She
is APS' "web manager" The
photo was taken at the
Albuquerque Press Women's
Luncheon where her duty
apparently, was to serve as
Monica Armenta's entourage,
beaming admiration every
time Armenta opened her mouth.

The photo was taken after Molecke was vanished from
Armenta's staff. At the time the photograph was taken,
she was supposedly on the staff of the "Technology
Department", link. Note that there is no mention of
Technology Department staff serving as groupies for the
Executive Director of Communications at public events.

Unclear; how the 3.5 people who job it is to maintain a website,
fit into a department whose responsibilities include;
providing"... support for APS computer technology
including: computers, software, servers, printers and
scanners."
except to scam the NM PED, the Governor, and the public.

This is not budget cutting. It is smoke and mirrors.

It is dishonest.

There is only one way to look at "administration" and teaching;
those who work in classrooms with kids are teaching, those who
work at 6400 Uptown Blvd doing anything else at all, are not
teaching; they are part of the administration. To divide the
administration into "central" and "other" is nonsense.

Playing musical chairs; moving staff from "central" administration
to "other?" administration doesn't save a dime. It doesn't move
one cent from administration to the classroom. All it does is
take the spot light off Monica Armenta and the now half million
dollar a year effort to spin the truth rather than tell it.

The Journal of course, bought the district position hook, line and
sinker publishing the move as if it were real budget cutting.
They didn't notice apparently, or don't care to report on,
the "central" vs "other administration" scam.
"Skandera, along with Gov. Susana Martinez, has been
critical of APS and its spending on central administration,
particularly the communications department.
APS released a breakdown Wednesday of its proposed
cuts to central administrative departments. The budget
maintains four full-time communications staffers and
transfers the three-member website team from
communications into the technology department."
Why; except to deliberately mislead interest holders about
how much money the district spends on the administration of
communications with the community?




photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If Bill Richardson is found guilty, will you be surprised?

Former Governor Bill Richardson
has been implicated in yet another
pay to play scheme.

He has not been found guilty of
anything. But if he is found guilty,
will you be surprised?

Most I think, will not. Their faith
and trust in their government has
been betrayed too many times.

It lies shattered; perhaps beyond repair.

The people have lost faith in their government and in its ability to protect their interests from public corruption and incompetence that have become so pervasive that it is no longer even shocking. It's part and parcel of New Mexico state government.

That lack of faith is the cost of politicians and public servants creating appearances of impropriety. To voters the perception is that impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, are one and the same. Trust is destroyed; damage is done.

There is no proof, and I am not suggesting that, the envelope Richardson seen here taking, was full of cash in exchange for a judgeship or some other promise of favor. But if it was, would anyone be surprised?

Could it really be this easy to buy influence in New Mexico State Government? Many have come to believe it is.

There is no reason to believe that the system will protect the interests of the people. There is no reason to believe that the system could have prevented Richardson or any other powerful politician or public servant from selling their influence at will.
Proof to the contrary adorns headlines every day.

It needn't be that way. It can be made impossibly difficult to hide public corruption and incompetence. It can be made impossibly difficult to abuse power and betray the public trust without being exposed. Public corruption and incompetence can end; at once and for all.

We lack only of the will to make it so.

The terms of public service are the prerogative of the public.
Chief among them is honest accountability to the people, and to
meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their
public service.

It is the will of the people.

Their will be done.

Or, else.




photos Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three APS Employees have been vanished

"Vanished" as in an illusion; magic, smoke and mirrors, link,
not that they have actually vanished in a physical sense.

APS has a Communications Department. It used to have eight
staff members, now it has five, link.

The employees have been vanished.
Though they likely still occupy the
same seats at the same desks in
the same offices, and one of them
recently accompanied the Executive
Director of Communications Monica
Armenta when she went to accept
adoration at the Albuquerque Press
Women's luncheon, link, they are
no longer listed as employees of
Armenta's Department.

They were vanished to make Armenta's Department look smaller
when Governor Susana Martinez points to administrative bloat
in the APS.

Never mind that with three fewer people under her, Armenta's
salary, nearly four times as much as a teacher makes, and more
than eight times as much as educational assistants make,
becomes that much less justifiable.

They will probably move the vanished employees in and out of
their virtual seats and offices, according to Armenta's alternating
need to look powerful and important with a large staff, or
to look relatively inexpensive with nearly 40% fewer staff.

This is all quite dishonest of course. Under normal circumstances
the legacy press would investigate and report upon the deception.

Your APS website challenge;

Using nothing but the award winning website, link,
figure out where the folks who run the website, work.
(We know they still work in Armenta's Office Suite;
we just don't know under whose budget.)


Bonus points for finding out who they are and
their job descriptions.



photo Mark Bralley

Taxpayers twice screwed

It's bad enough when a politician or public servant goes bad.
There is a real and considerable cost to taxpayers for public
corruption and incompetence; screwing number 1.

Then they go on administrative leave while the glacial process
of removing them creeps along; screwing number 2.
If a politician or public servant is fired; make them pay back
any administrative leave they have unjustly taken.

It gets worse. Taxpayers pay for the lawyers that defend
corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants from
the consequences of their corruption and incompetence;
even if they're not really "employees", link, screwing number 3.

Make that; taxpayers screwed thrice.

Good over evil (in government)

If every time good gets evil down, it lets it back up,
inevitably evil will get good down, and will not let it up;
game over.

It is the way it was, it is the way it is, and
it is the way it always will be.

The playing field is not level.

Evil has a number of inherent advantages over good; not having
to follow pesky rules, regulations, policies, and even statutes
counts high among them. Counting as just as high or higher;
that there are so many people who care so little which of them,
good or evil, prevails outside their own lives.

It is hard to use words like "the battle between good and evil"
without appearing histrionic, or crazy. The trouble is, when
you start mincing words, you mitigate the problem and the
consequences of ignoring it.

Government could be good; we could pick up a paper or watch the news and not see more public corruption and incompetence. Government is only evil because we allow it. There is culture of public corruption and incompetence because we enable it.

Evil has good down and they're not going to let it up.
It will take a superhuman effort to throw evil off and regain
control over power and resources that belong fundamentally
to the people. They can be spent on government of the people,
for the people, and by the people, instead of being wasted by
incompetent and corrupt politicians and public servants, but
only if the people are willing to push back together.


The accomplice to the crime of corruption
is frequently our own indifference.
Bess Myerson

All that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world
is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It was Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week two weeks ago

May 2nd thru the 6th was National Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week, link. If you google "national substitute teacher appreciation week" and +"Albuquerque Public Schools" you won't get any hits. Of course if you searched for evidence that APS appreciates regular teachers either, the results would be the same.

If asked, APS' million dollar a year Communications Department would tell you that the leadership of the APS really do in fact, appreciate teachers, and substitute teachers, and everyone else for that matter.

They just won't give any of them a seat at the table.

The very most fundamental sign of respect for teachers, substitute teachers and other interest holders would be to be given a seat at the table where decisions are made; to have the leadership of the APS pay real attention to what they say.

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures, according to
George Bernard Shaw, is not to hate them, but to be indifferent
to them, that's the essence of inhumanity, he wrote.

I digress; back to substitute teaching; talk about a tough row
to hoe. About the only thing I would like to do less perhaps,
would to be a middle school bus driver. One must wonder they
did in their previous life, to be a middle school bus driver in this.

I have on a number of occasions, suggested that school board
members should substitute teach on a regular basis. It would
be good for their perspectives. The same can said for
administrators who are long out of the classroom.

First hand experience in the trenches; there is no equivalent
qualification to speak on what should and should not be going
on in public schools. It's an eye opener.

Likely, you would qualify to be a substitute teacher if you wanted.
Of course, you won't get paid very much, link.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rigo Chavez I'm sure, will argue; it's all "legal".

Rigo Chavez one of the Directors of
APS' Communications. He and Monica
Armenta, who outranks him by
about 40 grand a year, co-direct; he
administratively, she in the executive
capacity.

He is also APS' Custodian
of Public Records.

State Law requires him
to facilitate the surrender
of public records to public knowledge.

I have asked him for some public records; those associated with my most recent whistleblower complaint, link.

There is a law that requires Chavez to produce records in an electronic format, if they exist in an electronic format.

Instead, he will insist that I come to his and Armenta's office
to inspect the records, order copies and pay 50 cents a page
for them.

I just received a response from him. You as a taxpayer paid
him to print a letter, fold it, stuff it, stamp it, and carry it to
where ever he must, so it could sit around for awhile before
the US Postal Service got a hold of it. The rest you know.

No where in his letter does he admit his violations of the NMIPRA with respect to at least two hard deadlines. The gist is; he just got it. A lot of my emails evaporate in the ether of APS email delivery.

No acknowledgement of my complaint that Monica Armenta and the APS Police Department will interfere with my right to inspect and copy public records.

He concludes;
if you want copies, the district charges $.50 (50 cents) per page.

What do you want to bet; according to APS and the Modrall
Law Firm (enormously rich and powerful from negotiating
exception to the law for APS senior administrators and board
members;) they will have broken no law.

If you would care to litigate with them for the records, they
would be most happy to entertain any litigation you might
have in mind; cost is no object.

It is fact, what drives them; them and their technicalities,
loopholes and "legal" weaselry.




photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Esquivel got away with lying to Johnny Mango

During the School Board elections, some of the best coverage
was provided by blogger Jon Knudsen aka Johnny Mango, link.

I had reported to Knudsen that then School Board President
Marty Esquivel, had written an illegal restraining order, link,
that banned me from participating in school board meetings.

Knudsen must have asked Esquivel about it because in his
report on me, he wrote;

"MacQuigg stated that Board member Esquivel had him
banned from board meetings--an allegation that
Martin Esquivel denies. "
Either Knudsen lied about Esquivel's denial, or Esquivel lied
about having written an illegal restraining order; a criminal
abuse of power.

My money is on Esquivel.

Knudsen had no reason to lie,
and Esquivel had every.

It has been four months
since Esquivel deliberately
misled the blogger during
a campaign for public office.

I think it's safe to say,
he got away with it.
His criminal malfeasance in writing an illegal restraining order will go unnoticed. The criminal malfeasance of the APS Chief of Police Steven Tellez in agreeing to enforce the illegal restraining order will go unnoticed.

Current School Board President
Paula Maes' criminal malfeasance,
she later signed her name under
Esquivel's, will go unnoticed.

The criminal non-feasance of
the rest of the Board, will go
unnoticed.

No small thanks for those
disappointing outcomes go
to Esquivel and Maes' cronies
Kent Walz, and the Journal, Sue Stephens and KOAT, KRQE and KOB TV.




photos Mark Bralley

Giving the NMAGO another run at the corruption

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, when asked why her
Office has been feckless in prosecuting the felony criminal
misconduct by APS senior administrators, suggested that I
contact the NMAGO.

I have tried before to get Attorney General Gary King's Office
to intervene in APS' cover up of the public corruption in their
Police Department, without success.

Nevertheless, here we go again;

Ms Medina (Constituent Services Coordinator),

It was suggested by District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, that I bring a situation to the attention of the Attorney General's Office. It has to do with an ongoing cover up by the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators including members of the APS Police Department.

In February, 2007, it was revealed in the Alb Journal, that there was a scandal in the leadership of the APS Police Department. There were admissions of felony criminal misconduct including, but not limited to; moving funds from one account to another without documentation, and illegal use of the NCIC criminal data base.

The only agency of law enforcement that investigated was APS' own Police Department, despite the obvious appearance of a conflict of interest. They are not even a certified law enforcement agency, and even if they were, they should not be investigating their own public corruption.

Their so called "investigation" has been going on for more than four years without resolve; statutes of limitation have, or will expire.

To date, they have not surrendered evidence of felony criminal misconduct to the District Attorney for prosecution.

It is obvious they are covering up felony criminal misconduct.

I am wondering if this falls under the jurisdiction of the NMAGO.

grateful for your time and attention.

Charles E. MacQuigg

APS misses another deadline, violates law again

A while back, I filed a complaint with APS whistleblower program. The gist of the complaint was that APS administrators had deliberately misled an investigator from the State Auditors Office regarding the ongoing denial of due process to whistleblower complaints, link.

The complaint was adjudicated by unknowns in the APS Internal Audit Department, the same department against which the complaint was made. The apparent conflict of interest is glaring.

They closed the complaint, after finding they had done no wrong, link.

I submitted a public records request
to APS' Custodian of Public Records
Rigo Chavez on Tuesday, April 26th,
2010. It read;

To: Rigo Chavez, Records Custodian
Albuquerque Public Schools

From: Charles MacQuigg


Recently, I filed a complaint with APS Ethical Advocate (#2467), alleging that APS had misled an investigator from the State Auditors Office.


That case has been closed by APS.


I am requesting any public records associated with the handling of that complaint. Should there be records for which the district is claiming exception, please make sure they should up on a list of privileged records and include relevant citations.


Please furnish them in electronic format. It makes little sense to further encumber taxpayers with the expense of printing, stuffing, sorting, and mailing that you have heretofore insisted upon.


Also, as I have previously pointed out to you, there are problems associated with inspecting records at Uptown.


Though I have only been in the Communications Office at your demand and to inspect public records; APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta has apparently accused me of showing up in her office "everyday" and stalking her. I have been routinely harassed by the APS Police Department for going to APS offices. There is also the issue of my my disability; I insist that you accommodate it by not needlessly insisting that I come to your Office to inspect records.


Please acknowledge by return email that you have received this request and understand it. The records should be immediately available.


Grateful for your time and attention


macq
APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta was cc'd and acknowledged receipt.

Chavez did not respond despite the fact that he is required by law to respond to the request within three (business) days. When that deadline passed, APS was in violation of the law.

Well, yet another deadline has passed; the district was required to surrender those records for inspection and or copying within 15 calendar days. They are in violation of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act; again.




photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another APS senior administrator off to the dark side.

For reasons immaterial to the post, I found myself having volunteered to do research on "citizens advisory councils" and the Albuquerque Public Schools.

My research began on APS' award winning website.
I searched for "citizens advisory councils" as received a short list of diddlysquat, link.

The next place I tried was is APS" Student, School, and Community Service Center, link. Figure me;

these guys must know something about
citizens advisory councils!
I sent an email to APS' Director of the Student, School and Community Service Center Toby Herrera. Some may think it is presumptuous to start at the top rather than following the chain of command. Trust me, it would have ended up on his virtual desk eventually; I saved you time and money.

I say I sent an email to him. Actually I sent three emails, the first two on this subject were not afforded the courtesy of neither a response nor acknowledgement.

Instead of just telling me the name of the public servant that can carry on an informed discussion on citizens advisory councils, he wrote this instead;
Hi Ched,

Our office does not deal with that issue. You will need to run your request by the APS Custodian of Public Records, Rigo Chavez chavez_ri@aps.edu, to see if any information is available for public review. I will forward your message to him as well.

Toby H. Herrera
Hi Toby,
Been there; done that.


Now I don't hold this against Toby personally;
he's just following orders. I asked him, whose?
This is not actually a request for public records. It is a request for the identity of someone who knows the history of APS Citizens Advisory Committees; someone with whom I can have a discussion rather than an exchange of legal documents.

I wrote to your office because you call it a Community Service Center, and because I am a community member in need of service. It seemed logical to begin my search though your office, again Community Service and all. Tell me please, what department oversees community advisory councils.

Honestly, I am disappointed in your lack of co-operation.

To whom do you report?



I don't want to talk to Custodian of Public Records Rigo Chavez. He will make it a "records request" so he can make me come to his office to inspect and copy them. "It is not my practice" he said, to email anything.







When I walk into his office, I will be in a suite of offices including the office of Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta. She will report that I am in "her office everyday" yet again and, stalking her, link.







There is every reason to believe that if I show up at Rigo's office, even at his (unreasonable and unjustifiable) demand, a small contingent of APS Police Officers of significant rank, but not including Chief Steve Tellez who knows better than to dirty his own hands, will show up to try to provoke some kind of confrontation.

Tellez is a co-signer on Marty Esquivel's illegal restraining order, link, banning my dissent at school board meetings.

You can see, I hope, why I don't want to make this a "public records request" that involves Rigo Chavez.

And how disappointed I am that there is no one in the entire leadership of the APS who wants to have an open and honest discussion about citizens advisory councils.




photos Mark Bralley

Armenta accused me of "stalking" her

APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta has accused me of "being in her office everyday" and "stalking" her.

Stalking is criminal behavior; it's a serious charge.

In response to a public records request for "any public record the APS Police Department has with my name on it, or that justifies in any way my being illegally banned from board meetings" we were told there are none; not one.

It would appear that her reckless allegation are more slander and libel than substance, and simply more criminal misconduct in APS' senior administration.

Armenta is seen here ordering APS' Praetorian Guard to throw me out of the EHS Gubernatorial Debate. Not that I had done anything wrong (see above), she was just afraid I might ask an inconvenient, yet legitimate, question that would embarrass her, or Winston Brooks, or Marty Esquivel, or Paula Maes, or ...




photo ched macquigg

Come on Monica, show us what you've got!

APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta,
during her presentation to the Albuquerque Press Women's Luncheon, boasted that she sleeps just fine at night despite earning nearly four times as much money as a teacher.

The boast was based on her claim
that she works "twelve hours a day,
six days a week".

If she really was worth her keep, during one of those 72 hours this week, she will step up and answer the question she was hiding from at the luncheon, she could communicate to interest holders about why;

the leadership of the APS has not, and will not, surrender an ethically redacted version of the Caswell Report to the public record.




photo Mark Bralley

It really is FELONY criminal misconduct and they really are GUILTY

If the Journal can be believed, link;

"Hundreds of dollars seized as evidence were moved to the police agency's petty cash fund when the money should have been returned to district coffers." felony

".. improperly directed APS resources to benefit one of his supervisors. ( the NCIC data base was used to do an illegal background check on APS Assoc Supt Tom Savage's fiancee) felony
Administrators, whose names are being hidden by APS Supt Winston Brooks and the School Board, committed felonies.

It isn't up to you to decide whether those felonies warrant
prosecution.

It isn't up to Winston Brooks and Marty Esquivel (and the
rest of the Board vis a vis their tacit approval of the cover up)
to decide whether those felonies warrant prosecution.

Nor is it up to Kent Walz and the Journal.

It is up to the District Attorney. Incontrovertible evidence of
felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators
belongs on the DA's desk, not hidden in Winston Brooks'.

It's all in the Caswell Report; that's why they're hiding it;
Brooks, Esquivel/Maes/Modrall, and Walz.

Brandenburg; Prosecutor of the year

Bernalillo County District Attorney
Kari Brandenburg has been named
Prosecutor of the Year by the New
Mexico District Attorneys' Association.

Yet our Prosecutor of the Year
has done nothing for more than
four years while the leadership
of the APS has been suppressing
evidence of felony criminal
misconduct involving APS senior
administrators. She is yet to file a single charge.

On August 8, 2007, I wrote to Brandenburg to inquire about her intention to prosecute APS senior administrators who were implicated in the public corruption and incompetence in the APS Police Department, link.

I wrote;

Ms. Brandenburg,

Can you tell me the current status of the DA's investigation into the public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the APS PD?

Is the investigation still underway, and when do you expect that the DA's office will determine whether or not to proceed with criminal indictments?

As you know, it has been many months now since your office was asked to determine if criminal misconduct had taken place.

What still needs to be done before your office will be finished with its obligations?
On August 8th, she replied;
We cannot comment regarding specifics. The investigation is ongoing & being reviewed. It will take months before we make any decisions, as it is complex and we are working on many other things, too.
The "months" now total 45, and still she has not finished her
investigation. Contrary to her excuse, there is nothing at all
"complex" about the corruption. The leadership of the APS
decided that it would allow their Praetorian Guard to
investigate its own corruption. Four years later, they are
"still investigating".

She cannot deny that she knows the leadership of the APS is hiding evidence of their own corruption.

Nor, can the Prosecutor of the Year point to anything at all she is doing about it; despite the fact that statutes of limitation continue to expire as she dawdles.

This would be a great story for
the Journal to investigate and
report upon.

Too bad public corruption in the
leadership of the APS isn't
"newsworthy".

Who writes the story of
Kent Walz' and the Journal's corruption?

cc Brandenburg upon posting




photo and frame grab Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Of what, is Armenta afraid?

APS Executive Director of
Communications Monica Armenta
coerced the Albuquerque Press
Women, link, into ignoring my
raised hand during a Q&A at their
luncheon, link.

It begs a question; what is
Monica Armenta afraid of?
If she has been telling the
community the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but
the (ethically redacted) truth, why is she afraid to
answer legitimate questions?

Armenta tried to convince those in attendance that, there are
those who attack APS out of spite and for no other reason.
She didn't mention me by name, but her comments had a
preemptive feel, like she was discrediting me in advance of
my discrediting her and the efforts of APS Communications.

Let's give her that one; let's say for the purpose of discussion
only, that I am motivated only by my spite. Does it make my
questions any less legitimate? Does it relieve Armenta and the
leadership of any part of their obligation to answer questions
candidly, forthrightly and honestly?

Let's put a question on the table;

Why is the leadership of the APS hiding an ethically redacted version of the Caswell Report on an investigation of public corruption in the APS Police Department?
The question has been asked and they have answered; they
point to the legal loophole that allows them the legal weaselry
to hide the Caswell Report from public knowledge.

The law "allows" them to hide the truth from interest holders,
it does not compel it. The leadership of the APS, if they wanted
to, redact the report according to the NM Inspection of Public
Records Act, and according to any other applicable standard;
for example the ethical code of conduct that they establish and
enforce upon students.


Their answer is to a different question than I asked.

They, Armenta, won't explain to
the community why they are
hiding evidence of felony
criminal misconduct involving
APS senior administrators,
from the public and from
DA Brandenburg's Office.

Armenta's fear of being asked
inconvenient questions in
public isn't new.

She can be seen here illegally ordering her Praetorian Guard to
throw me out of the EHS Gubernatorial Debate. Though I had a
ticket and every right to be there, Armenta was able to have me
ejected for no other reason than that she wanted to. Brooks
backed her play personally.

There is only one reason to hide from the truth.

Armenta admitted during her presentation that most of what
she does is "not for publication".

Truer words have not been spoken.

Fortunately for her,
Kent Walz and the Journal feel
exactly the same way.

Walz is seen here presenting
the NM FOG's Dixon Award
to Winston Brooks. He and
Marty Esquivel cooked up the
award for Brooks at the very
same time he was busily hiding
the Caswell Report.

Ironically, it was Walz and the Journal who reported on the
depth and breadth of the corruption in the APS Police Dept,
link, and who are now part and parcel in covering it up.




photo and frame grab Mark Bralley
EHS
photo ched macquigg

Brooks' actions speak louder than his words

Once a month, the Journal gives
APS Supt Winston Brooks an
opportunity to spin the truth
without fear of challenge or
contradiction.

Today's opuscule, link, is entitled
"Teachers make it possible".
To read it, you would think he
actually respects teachers.

His disingenuity is indistinguishable
from outright deceit.

If teachers actually enjoyed the respect he feigns for them,
they would have a seat at the table where decisions are made.

Between them, APS teachers have about 100,000 years of
teaching experience. It is difficult to imagine a more valuable
resource. Yet the first thing Brooks did when he took the
reins of the APS, was to put an end to site based management.

Site based management is the manifest result of true respect
for the education, experience, dedication, and expertise that
teachers bring to the table. What greater respect can be shown
than to, not only solicit the opinion of, but to actually delegate
decision making power to, the people who work everyday in
classrooms?

Instead, teachers are given scripts to follow with 30 or more
students dutifully arranged in five rows of six, and then blamed
for the ensuing failure; a failure as predictable as it is inevitable.

If you ask the Director of APS Research, Development, and
Accountability Department Tom Genne, if the district ever,
even once, hard surveyed teachers and asked them, what do
you need from the administration in order to succeed?, he
will admit that it has never happened.

Brooks will point instead to a scientifically and statistically
indefensible parent survey, link.

The leadership of the APS is loathe to qualify or quantify
their shortcomings in the eyes of those who carry the load
at the educational interface; the place where students and
"the system" interact.

Teachers have never been asked for their expert opinions on
the obstacles to their success. Teachers are not even given the
opportunity for meaningful subordinate evaluation of their
site administrators.

Brooks has not given teachers, or any other APS employee a
venue where they can file a legitimate complaint against an
administrator and where the complaint will see due process.

If the Journal investigated and reported upon the respect
teachers feel from Winston Brooks, instead of allowing Brooks
his uncontested spin, they would report on a far different
dynamic than the one Brooks would have us believe.

But then, that would require the Journal to actually investigate
and report on the incompetence and corruption in the leadership
of the APS, something they are heretofore decidedly disinclined to do.




photo Mark Bralley

Monday, May 09, 2011

Discharging ethically, the high responsibilities of public office.

Albuquerque State Senator Tim Eichenberg's recently passed
legislation, places APS' School Board under the auspices of the
Governmental Conduct Act, link.

Tomorrow morning the Policy Committee will meet, link, to figure out how to minimize their actual accountability under the Act.

I cannot go to the meeting to protest what they will do,
because School Board President Paula Maes, ex-School Board
President Marty Esquivel, and the Chief of the APS Police
Department Steve Tellez, will have me arrested if I do. They
will employ their publicly funded private police force; their
Praetorian Guard, to stifle my dissent by enforcing Esquivel's
utterly illegal restraining order, link.

According to the Governmental Conduct Act; under "Ethical Principles of Public Service

"A legislator, public officer or employee shall conduct himself in a manner that justifies the confidence placed in him by the people, at all times maintaining the integrity and discharging ethically the high responsibilities of public service."(emphasis added)
It stands to reason, in order to behave ethically one must adhere to ethical standards of conduct. One cannot claim to be accountable to a code of ethics if in truth, they are only accountable to the law; a lower standard of conduct.

The School Board will discuss and deal with their compliance with the requirements of the law, without ever identifying any ethical code of conduct as their standards, and without establishing any real and honest accountability to them even if they did exist.

The School Board has a Code of Ethics. By their own admission
it is absolutely unenforceable; there is no place to file a
complaint that they have failed to meed ethical standards.
You cannot, for example, take them to court for their
abandonment of ethical standards and of any real accountability to them.

That the board will conduct this discussion without discussing
ethics or accountability is a manifest example of failing to
discharge their responsibilities ethically.

They will get away with it because there is no place to file a
complaint over their failure.

That and the fact that, the Journal and the rest of the establishment media don't think any of this is "newsworthy" enough to investigate and report upon.

Monica mad-dogged me

APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta
joined APS Supt Winston Brooks today, on the list of APS senior
administrators who have mad-dogged me in public.

One really has to wonder, after all the blatant and egregious
retribution and retaliation the leadership of the APS has
visited on me in the last seventeen years in an effort to end my
efforts to hold them honestly accountable for their conduct
and competence, that there are still those among them who
suppose that "mad-dogging" me will scare me away at this point.

If you are going to threaten someone, even with a dirty look,
you have to be at least a little bit scary in the first place.
Winston Brooks has a way of throwing his weight around, link,
that might scare some people, but on Armenta it just looks pathetic.

It gets worse.

Armenta was at the Albuquerque Press Women's luncheon.
She was the guest speaker. She spoke as the APS Executive
Director of Communications; she was there in her capacity as
a public servant.

Public servants within their public service are different from
other citizens. They cannot for example claim some right to
privacy regarding their public service. If you want to snap a
photograph of them discharging their public service, you can.
If you want to record them, you can.

Armenta doesn't concern herself with the constitutional rights
of the press, or for that matter, of common citizens. She
actually stopped the meeting to tell blogger Mark Bralley that
she had "no interest" in allowing him to make a recording of
the meeting. He obliged in so far as he aborted his effort to
place his microphone on the podium where she stood. He did
of course, go ahead and make the recording according to his absolute right to do so.

After the meeting, Armenta
interrupted Bralley's private
conversation with other
journalists, to inform him/us
that we did not have
"her permission" to use any
of the photographs that
we had taken of her during
her presentation.

We informed that we didn't need
her "permission" to take and use
photographs of her within her public service, photographs
like this one.

That's just the plain stupid part. Now the "against the law" part.

Citizens, even the ones Armenta does not like, have a right to
equal treatment under the law. Public servants like Armenta
are prohibited from treating some citizens better than others
when it comes to discharging their public service.

Armenta answered questions from everyone in the room.
Every single person who raised their hand to be recognized
to ask a question was, and was allowed to ask their question;
except me.

After the Q&A closed, I asked the moderator if she had refused
to call on me at the behest of Armenta. She freely admitted that,
that was precisely the case.

She said Armenta refused to participate if I was going to be recognized and allowed to ask any questions.

That represents disparate treatment under the law.
It is a violation of my rights as a citizen and member of a
free press.

Armenta is arrogant. She thinks that because she is an APS
senior administrator, and enjoys the adoration and protection
of the establishment media, she can do whatever she wants.

She is of course, wrong.

She thinks she can slander and libel me by telling people I am
"in her office everyday" and "stalking" her. She thinks she can
get away with that too.

She is again, wrong.




photo Mark Bralley