Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hypocrisy on the agenda tonight

APS' District and Community Relations Committee is meeting tonight. On the agenda, link, a report on APS' Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SuperSAC).

There will be the report and then discussion. It wouldn't be surprising to find at least a handful of the super students came to watch.

If they get there early enough they can watch the committee of the whole violate the Open Meetings Act.

Item B on the agenda reads

"... the Approval of the August 23, 2011, November 22, 2011, and December 13, 2011, District and Community Relations Committee meeting minutes.
It would appear that the minutes from the August meeting were not approved at the next meeting, nor at the next, nor at the next.

A quick check of the law, link, reveals (in significant part);
Draft minutes shall be prepared within ten working days after the meeting and shall be approved, amended or disapproved at the next meeting where a quorum is present. emphasis added
If students go to more than a few board meetings,
they will find their senior-most role models
blatantly disregarding the rules, all the time.

That's how a lot of them can rationalize doing the same.

That's not fair!

Among the first words humans speak, and among the first things they learn are;

mommy / daddy

... not fair!


life isn't fair ...
It could be argued that the need to be treated "fairly" is instinctual; not unlike the urge to survive and to compete.

What words do children voice with more conviction and honest
outrage than;
It isn't fair!
From birth, humans are looking for fairness in the processes
that decide their interests. Where they can, they create formal processes to guarantee fundamental fairness.
They create due process.

Life isn't fair. People are not fair.
It isn't reasonable to expect people or life to be fair.

It is every bit reasonable to expect government of the people, by the people and for the people to be fair, It is reasonable to expect government processes to be fair.

It is reasonable to expect due process in dealing with government.

By what logic do the arguments in support of the essential
need for due process anywhere, not support the essential
need for due process everywhere?

If the first legitimate use of power is to protect it from abuse,
then the first abusive use of power is to protect the abuse of
power, from accountability and consequences.

Corrupt politicians and public servants protect themselves and
each other, by denying due process to complaints against them.

Cultures of corruption are defined by the lack of due process
for complaints that would expose and curtail them.

The terms of public service are the prerogative of the people.
Essential among those terms are the accountability of politicians
and public servants to the people, by means of due process
for the peoples' complaints against them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Korte's defense; umbrage

School Board member Kathy Korte fought back against grumblings about APS' redistricting decision making process, expressing her umbrage in a letter his morning in the Journal, link.

Korte points to constituent apathy as the
root of constituent unhappiness; people
who had an opportunity to speak up and
did not, are now complaining that their
interests were ignored.

Her defense rests on the premise that the community had an opportunity to speak up. She argued, there had been four public meetings and that, each board member had nominated two citizens to meet with the community, thereby “involving it”.

That plan obviously didn't work; it didn't "involve the community".

No small part of the reason why community members aren’t lining up to participate in "decision-making" APS style, is the actual role of community advisory groups in the decision-making process;

"... any recommendation made by it could be ... completely disregarded by the seven board members."
Community members are well aware of their lack of actual influence and therefore are disinclined to be part of a photo op and little more; they become disinclined to continue to play the game.

Korte is a long time complainer about the lack of community participation in efforts to involve them in decision making.

She is being disingenuous.

The efforts to “involve the community” are actually efforts to create a show of bodies at meetings, in order to create perception that the process is legitimate. The meetings are not held to actually give interest holders an opportunity to participate meaningfully in decision making about their interests; their power and their resources.

If Korte was really interested in engaging with interest holders, she would be fighting for the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication. She would at least be willing to give their petition due process; a public hearing and a roll call vote.

She is not.

Korte's real desire to engage with interest holders is betrayed in her refusal to point to a time, a day, and a place where she will sit still and respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to legitimate questions about the public interests and about her public service.

She will not entertain questions about her complicity or complacency in;
  • efforts to cover up felony public corruption in the APS police force leadership;
  • the denial of due process to hundreds of APS whistleblowers' complaints, and
  • the abdication of the entire leadership of the APS, including Ms Korte, from their responsibilities and obligations to "model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!".
  • denying due process for legitimate petitions; including the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication petition.
Instead Korte blows smoke;
The public received adequate notice of the meeting and the agenda as set forth by the Open Meetings Act.
"Adequate notice" to the leadership of the APS, to Korte, means the absolute least notice required by the law, a position she supported personally, link.

According to school board policy, students are taught that their good character is forfeit unless they are willing to defend it by
"... doing more than the law requires and
less than the law allows."
By definition, their role models are held to the same standard,
and were, until the board removed the role modeling clause
from their own standards of conduct;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
Now they are "legally" free to;
  1. do as little as the law absolutely requires and
  2. use every technicality, loophole and conceivable legal weaselry
to restrict access to records and meetings.

It's hard to hide from the truth;
  1. Board meetings begin when interest holders are at work, at only one location.
  2. The opportunity to sign up to speak at the public forum, expires before interest holders can get to the meeting.cal reason. There is no good and ethical reason that someone cannot sign up for the last two minutes of the forum, any time up to those last two minutes.
  3. Speakers at the public forum find their Constitutionally protected human rights to assemble peacefully, speak freely and to petition one's government over redress of grievances, are abrogated. To the extent your legitimate complaint makes board members or senior administrators feel guilty or incompetent, it is disallowed.
  4. If board members authority to disallow the free exercise of those rights is challenged, a publicly funded, private police force; a praetorian guard in the truest sense, will arrest the petitioner, link.

Korte is complicit, complacent or willfully ignorant of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Neither Korte nor any other member of the senior leadership is willing to point to a time, a day and a place where they will sit still and respond to any legitimate questions, responding candidly, forthrightly and honestly, until the questions have all been asked.

When the question is;
will you tell the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the ethically redacted truth?
Any answer except yes, means no.

The Journal gives her all the space she wants to throw bombs at dissidence and disallows dissidents no counter fire.

Our community would do well to remember that APS must always be about our kids. I am ready to continue working with my fellow board members, community groups, teachers, parents and stakeholders to put our children first.

Are you?
If dissidence enjoyed the same Journal space as Korte,
Journal readers would see;
Ms Korte,

Interest holders are willing to hold open and honest public discussions of legitimate issues, for example;
1. administrative and executive standards of conduct and competence, and
2. actually honest accountability to them,
3. student standards of conduct and competence, and
4. the obligations of their role models, and
5. and the legitimacy of due process for complaints against administrators and board members.

Are you?
As for the Journal and the establishment media, their candid, forthright and honest investigation and reporting upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS speaks for itself.

photo Mark Bralley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Aliens abduct Journal editors; write editorial.

Considering the lengths the Journal has been willing to go to,
to help cover up the ethics
and accountability scandal, including felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of the APS, today's editorial, link, comes out of nowhere.

Nevertheless, it is spot on; even Managing Editor Kent Walz' buddy and golden boy, School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel, got reamed.

The Journal "education reporter" Hailey Heinz, in her report on the discussion and vote, link, didn't mention the fact the Esquivel's own seat was on the line.

Had the original and preferred plan been adopted, he would have lost his seat. That fact escaped Heinz' reporting, but not the editors' notice;

"Former Board President Martin Esquivel, who under the adopted plan would have lost his seat until the board altered it to keep him safe, had little to say."
The editorial, here quoted in significant part, is their reaction to a school board vote on redistricting, where interest holders on the west side got hosed so sitting board members could protect their own seats;
  • "... the board’s action shows that politics trumped demographics ..."
  • "... many members realized the West Side needed more representation. They decided they didn’t care.
  • Monday night’s school board redistricting vote was an embarrassing show of just how far some elected officials will go to protect their political backsides.
  • "... in the flush of the excitement of potentially being a school board member in perpetuity, (Board President Paula Maes) gushed that the current board is very “harmonious,” its members “get along” and are “making accomplishments.”
  • The board’s action sent an unmistakable message that communities of interest and equitable West Side representation going forward doesn’t matter in public education.
The editors wondered;
"... how did this unconscionable decision come about?"
and concluded;
"It would seem to be a classic blend of New Mexico politics and incompetence."
The otherwise spot-on editorial missed the mark in conclusion. They wrote;
West-Siders can no longer trust their school board to
do the right thing for all APS voters, schoolchildren and parents.

News flash, it's not just West-siders who cannot trust this board, or anyone else in APS senior leadership.

photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, January 28, 2012

APS coaches; higher standards of conduct?

KOB TV reports, link, the head cheer leading coach at an APS high school has been removed from that position because he knew cheerleaders were drinking alcohol and did not report it to authorities.

The coach will continue teaching at Eldorado HS.

One wonders what expectation applies in coaching that doesn't apply in teaching. What counts in athletics, that doesn't count in academics?

In fairness, there isn't much in the way of leadership in honest accountability to higher standards of conduct. There are no role models to emulate; the leadership of the APS holds themselves accountable only to the law; the lowest standards of all.

I used to write that there are two standards of conduct in the APS; one for adults, and a considerably higher standard for students. I stand corrected.

Apparently there are three, here listed in descending order;

  1. the standards that apply to cheerleader coaches,
  2. the standards that apply to students and student role models; the Pillars of Character Counts!, and
  3. the standards that apply to administrators and board members; the law and everything it's loopholes, technicalities and legal weaselry will allow.

... go team.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thomas Paine was a blogger

Bloggers are political pamphleteers, just like Thomas Paine,
and they are every bit as deserving of Constitutional protection
of their human right to be the press, as any other member of the "so called" press.

If James Madison did not write; Congress shall make no law
abridging the freedom of the press
, to protect pamphleteers
like Thomas Paine, for whom did he write it? corporate news
agencies and darlings of government?

Government has no business granting or requiring credentials more than have been already provided by Madison. And he made no mention of needing some talisman; fetish, juju, phylactery, trinket or bauble, as proof of owning the right to be a member of the press.

And he certainly did not write that the government would decide who gets one.

Paula Maes' broadcasters well represented on NM FOG

The NM Foundation for Open Government, link, has a new Executive Director, Gwyneth Doland, link.

She has inherited a can of worms.

You would think that a gathering of powerful press people and lawyers and an expressed interest in open government, would be making some progress.

Instead, they're mired in some pretty deep shite.

Right out in front of God and everybody, they just gave their highest honor, a Dixon Award, to APS Supt Winston Brooks while all the while, he, the school board, and FOG heavy hitters, were and are, covering up a cover up of felony criminal misconduct by APS senior administrators, link. Moving evidence to petty cash and spending it without authority or record keeping, is a felony. Doing illegal NCIC background checks on whistleblowers, is a felony.

The APS top cop Gil Lovato at the time, and his lawyer Sam Bregman averred,
when the truth comes out in court,
there won't be a single APS senior administrator left standing.

Co-incidentally, Lovato and Bregman never made it to court; instead, Lovato, like every other senior administrator with a story to tell, was put on paid leave until his contract expired.

Investigations were conducted. There is an enormous public record of investigations into who did what, who knew what, and who should have known.

Names are named.

Names of people whose heads never rolled. As is the tradition in the APS, they were showered instead with cash and admiration, and went along their merry way.

The folks who benefit most from keeping these public records secret from public knowledge, have managed to usurp control over the institution that should be their enemy; a foundation for open government.

There are people on the board of the FOG, last year's Board, link, and this, who know about the cover up of the cover up and won't do anything about it. Many of them are members of the fourth estate; they have a responsibility to investigate and report upon credible allegations and evidence of a cover up of a cover up of felony criminal misconduct by politicians and public servants, and don't.

Kent Walz, seen here extolling Brook's transparency at the
Dixon Award banquet, published the story on the public
corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS and will not investigate and report upon credible allegations and evidence of a cover up. He and Marty Esquivel gave Brooks the Dixon Award to bolster his credibility; while he is hiding an ethically redacted public record. Walz remains, the FOG Board Secretary.

School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel, seen here throwing me and
Mark Bralley out of an open meeting, was on the Board of Directors last year, and in line to be FOG President the year before but didn't make it. Bralley and I were trying to investigate and report upon their efforts to deny due process to hundreds of APS whistleblowers' complaints.

Because the FOG website hasn't been updated since a January re-alignment; it is unclear how big a bat he still swings, or even if he's still in their line up.

Iain Munro, News Director, KRQE News sat on the board,
may still, who knows. I am given to believe KRQE filed a
Request for Public Records of the APS PD corruption and
never received it, also that Marty Esquivel works for them
as an "open government" lawyer.

Paula Maes, head of the NM Broadcasters Association is former Director; maybe she's back.

The new President is Terri Cole.
She is the President of the
Chamber of Commerce.

She and I have history, though
she may have long forgotten.

She used to be a huge
Character Counts! supporter.
I tried to get her to speak up
when the leadership of the APS
was stepping down from their
obligations as role models of student standards of conduct;
a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

She did not, and there's no reason to expect her to stand up now.

KOAT 7 President and general manager Mary Lynn Roper, is the new FOG Vice President. I blame her for KOAT's refusal to investigate and report upon the denial of due process to hundreds of APS whistleblower complaints, link.

There is a new FOG Treasurer, Greg Williams, an attorney with Peifer, Hanson & Mullins.

He replaced Pat Rogers.

I mention Rogers only
because he works for
Modrall, and

Modrall makes so much
money litigating against
the IPRA, Open Meetings,
and First Amendment Rights
in order to create exceptions
to the law for APS administrators
and board members, that they
won't even come right out and tell you how much.

I know Gwyneth, I like her, and I wish her all the luck in the world; she'll need it.

photos and frame grab Mark Bralley

Thursday, January 26, 2012

APS Communications "does not have a scanner"

and even if they did, it wouldn't make any difference.

"... my office does not have a scanner, so I am unable to create scanned copies to e-mail to you. And, under the NM Inspection of Public Records Act, public bodies are not required to create documents in order to respond to records requests."
The Law;
Each public body shall designate at least one custodian of public records who shall:
A. receive and respond to requests to inspect public records;
B. provide proper and reasonable opportunities to inspect public records;
C. provide reasonable facilities to make or furnish copies of the public records during usual business hours; and ... (emphasis added)
If they have enough money to pay Monica Armenta $107K a year to polish their apple, they have enough money to buy a scanner.

There are standards of conduct which require;
doing more than the law requires and less than the law allows, as a matter of principle.
Students in the APS are expected to "... model and promote ..." a set of standards that include that specific expectation.

They are expected to "...model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!".

In stark contrast, the "leadership" of the APS does nothing more than absolutely required by the law and only then, after having burned still secret numbers of operational dollars in litigation against the IPRA and against the public interests.

Instead of buying a scanner, they insist that I come into their castle keep to inspect any public records I might want to see. And while there, to be slandered by Monica Armenta and harassed by their praetorian guard.

If the leadership of the APS; Supt Winston Brooks, School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel and School Board President Paula Maes, could be held accountable as the senior-most role models of the standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students, they could be compelled not only to buy a scanner, but to start using it.

If Kent Walz and the Journal,
and Maes' cronies in the NM
Broadcasters Association
could be held accountable for
five years of of betraying the
public interests in the interests
of their cronies, they wouldn't
be covering up the ethics and
accountability scandal in the
leadership of the APS .

At least not for long, and certainly not for years and years.

photos and frame grab Mark Bralley
Armenta ordering her guard, macquigg

Sheriff Houston created the appearances of conflicts of interest and impropriety.

In a move the Journal, link, reports will cost taxpayers $40K, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston broke a lease and moved SWAT equipment from the warehouse it was stored in, to a storage facility owned by his largest single campaign contributor, John Bode.

Whatever else Houston says about the deal, it reeks of the appearances of impropriety and conflicted interests.

Whatever else Houston says about the deal, damage has been done. The appearances shake public confidence in Houston, the BCSO, and in government in general.

Whatever else Houston says about the deal, it was either a bonehead move, or maybe just supremely arrogant.

Speaking of which, still no response from the Sheriff's Office on what Houston intends to do about APS police officers, holding his commissions, who sat and watched for a couple of hours, while kids got drunk at Valley High School, link.

photo Mark Bralley

Quasi-public records?

Two legislators were involved in a squabble during a working lunch. The squabble was caught on tape. The security camera footage is the subject of multiple public records requests.

In a move that may be entirely without precedent, the video has been shown to a handful of the public but not the rest. The Journal and KRQE got to see it.

The original plan was that they could see it, but only if they promised to not "report on the contents or even acknowledge seeing it", link. Though they refused a "self-imposed gag order", they were given a private screening anyway.

Legislative Council Services Director Raul Burciaga continues to insist that even it the recording is a public record, is enjoys an exception to the Inspection of Public Records Act because it part of a "tactical response plan".

I can't help but think any fines that will be levied for the obstruction of the surrender of public records were going to be paid by Burciaga instead of by taxpayers, there might be less obstruction of the surrender of public records.

Government transparency laws need re-examination and revamping in their entirety, and the sooner the better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

APS discipline problems still a big secret.

The student who was stabbed to death recently was an APS student; albeit a "charter" student.

The incident is indicative of an underlying problem.

The problem can be described in concrete terms, historically, currently and in the future. There is a record of what was done, what is being done, and what is in planning to do.

The APS Communications Department and effort has two choices with respect to communicating to stakeholders about the issues and effects of declining student discipline in general, and chronically disruptive students in particular;

  1. communicate, or
  2. not

I aver, there is no evidence that APS has ever communicated candidly, forthrightly, honestly, or otherwise, to interest holders, on the subject of student discipline.

Why won't APS Supt Winston Brooks communicate with interest holders though he was asked to, point blank, months ago, link?

  1. student discipline and chronically disruptive students are unimportant and unworthy of any effort to communicate about them, or

  2. student discipline and chronically disruptive students represent a failure and an embarrassment that Brooks and the rest of the leadership of the APS, would rather hide.

photo Mark Bralley

APS Board votes to retain current members

"Westsiders" will not be pleased with the APS School Board's redistricting plan, and with good reason.

The fundamental precept in drawing district lines, is to divide up constituents equally.

Beyond that, an effort should be made to keep common interests together in a school board district. You wouldn't want a school board district line to intersect an individual school boundary, for example.

The Rio Grande River is an ipso facto line. The separation of interests cannot be moved any more than the river can be moved. Move on.

The last thing we need to think about when drawing district lines is, whether it will be convenient for the incumbent.

Another ipso facto; self-interest is conflict of interest.

According to the Journal, link;

"The approved plan ensures all sitting board members will continue to live in their current districts – which some board members said was deliberate. Board president Paula Maes said it was good for APS to keep the current board intact".

and, though promoting harmony is not on the list of things one normally considers in drawing district lines, Maes argued;

“One of the things we have going on right now is a very harmonious board, and that is very important for this district, is that its board members get along.”
Though Maes own seat was threatened by more ethically drawn district lines and she voted in favor of keeping her own seat, offered instead of having recused herself;
“... it’s not to make a district where everybody is still in their seat, but ..."
Maes further argued that any board member who wanted to continue to represent a particular bunch of constituents, ought to be able to;
"... if all the people on this board want to run again, they ought to have the opportunity to continue the work we’re doing. And some of these maps caused huge shifts in that.”
In the better plan, Maes would have had to run against another board member if they both wanted to keep their seats.

Kathy Korte, who represents District 2, is reported to have arrived in support of a river boundary based on the will of her constituents, but later voted for the plan that protected Maes' interests. Whether that was coincidental or methodical, is up to Korte's constituents to decide.

Frankly, Korte isn't too thrilled with them either; she took another shot at her constituents for no-showing opportunities to participate in open meetings.
"Korte said ... her constituents ... should have come to meetings if they cared about the redistricting outcome".
Good for her.

Although hard to reconcile with her attitude about people who show up insisting upon an opportunity to ask inconvenient but absolutely legitimate questions; in which case she's good with having them arrested.

Korte spoke the truth when she offered;
“This is a board that will be swayed when presented with a lot of public opinion and comment."
Torches and pitchforks.

Board member David Robbins went on record in favor of denying the existence of the Rio Grande River and in favor of lines that cannot be used in the future, by Westsiders wanting to split away from the APS entirely.

photos Mark Bralley

APS' ad campaign

"Journal staff", link, think Monica Armenta's ads are "inspiring"

They cite as evidence; the number of phone calls Armenta has been getting from delighted parents of APS success stories.

Let's assume that Armenta can hold these calls down to a minute each, and is getting one every minute all day long, no food, no potty breaks, no nothin'. 8x60 minutes later, 480 happy parents have chatted with an even happier APS senior administrator. Too bad Winston Brooks wasn't on line; he could have chalked up another 480 points on his "community outreach" efforts.

For which we would pay them about 1/250th of their annual salary, plus benefits.
$276,000 give or take golden parachutes and other financial accoutrements, plus
$106,000 we know about, gives us;
$382,000, divided by 250 workdays, gives us
$1,528 a day paying them to improve APS public perception.

If you divide that number by the daily minimum salary of a
semi-skilled but conceivably highly effective additional adult
in the classroom; $13,001, link, you get $52.

You find you can hire about 29 educational assistants, an entire classroom full, for same public investment.

Our $1,528 investment in the education of our sons and daughters, would have been spent instead polishing poo; putting "lipstick on a pig", wikilink;

"a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product."
According the Journal,
"Armenta said the advertisements were shot in-house by the communications department, and had no production costs."
Let's say the leadership of the APS is spending a million dollars a year on "communications" and anti-communications by means of their "communications department".

Dividing by 250, to keep the math simple, shows us we're spending $4,000 a day telling interest holders the listing of the ship is only an electrical problem.

For the same $4,000, we could hire another 80 educational assistants.
"The APS Education Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes private support for APS, paid a total of $50,000 for a year of airtime on various television and radio stations.
to School Board President Paula Maes' friends in New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
“... we’re using new marketing funds for the foundation to pay for the ads,” Armenta said"
begging a question; why are there "new marketing funds" available in a school system with many more pressing needs for scarce resources?

Why does the only public school system in town need more "marketing" than it needs educational assistance in classrooms?

“I have been wanting to do something like this since I got here.”

photo Mark Bralley

Monday, January 23, 2012

Talk about kicking the can down the road.

Governor Susana Martinez has proposed anti-corruption legislation.

Examine it, carefully. Point to the part that strikes fear into the heart of someone stealing gas with a state government credit card. Or driving around in the company truck.

Ending corruption is always about some future constraint that will make it marginally less tempting to steal public resources and abuse public power.

It never seems to be about switching on the lights and busting everybody with their hands in the till.

People who steal in politics and public service understand how the system works and have calculated that they are not in danger of getting caught; at least not for another couple of years. The temptation doesn't lie in the power and resources they control, but rather in the possibility of stealing the resources or abusing the power without likely consequences.

Everybody wants to end public corruption and incompetence without exposing the corrupt and the incompetent; without actually holding anyone influential, individually accountable for their corruption and incompetence.

There isn't an agency of government in which qualified and motivated investigators could not find some corruption, some incompetence and some practices that enable them.

Nobody has the character and the courage to just flip the switch
and illuminate the truth; do the right thing and let the chips fall
where they may.

Nobody wants to name names, and with that kind of cover,
why wouldn't people think they can get away with
their public corruption and incompetence?

What kind of cover did School Board President Paula Maes give the corrupt and incompetent in the castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd, when she announced, she would never agree to any audit that individually identified corrupt or incompetent APS administrators or board members.

What might they think they can get away with now, that they wouldn't have even considered before?

Mark Bralley

Media mettle testing part deux.

For the same reason as the following (previous) post,
I am testing the media response to a different legitimate tip.

In February 2007, the Albuquerque Journal published a story in which it was admitted that illegal background checks had been done on whistleblowers, and that money had been taken from evidence and spent as petty cash. Both are felonies.

The only criminal investigation of felony public corruption in the APS Police Department, was done by the APS Police Department.

It took them more than three years to complete their "investigation". The investigation was completed by June 2010; before statutes of limitation had expired.

The evidence and testimony has not been surrendered to the District Attorney, though statutes of limitation have now expired on felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

The story is not the original corruption.

The story is the subsequent cover up.

All of the evidence is public record; you have only to get APS Communications and lawyers to surrender it in compliance with the law.

This is about the message; not about the messenger.

grateful for your time and attention

ched macquigg

Again, as below, you judge whether the allegation is credible and whether the establishment media; the Journal, KOAT, KOB, and KRQE follow through appropriately.

Testing the mettle of the media

I write, often, that the local media won't investigate and report upon any facet of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Occasionally, I prove my point.

The following was sent to each of the Journal, KOB TV, KOAT, and KRQE.

APS has a whistle blower program.

Complaints filed against administrators are adjudicated by other administrators; conceivably subordinates.

It creates an appearance of a conflict of interests; a violation of the Governmental Conduct Act.

Board Policy used to include an explicit promise of Executive (Audit Committee) review and approval of every single complaint.

After more than 300 complaints were filed, and before a single one of them had seen school board review and approval, the board rewrote board policy, eliminating executive review altogether, and re-creating the appearance of blatant conflicts of interest.

This all a matter of public record and as easy to verify as it is to get the APS Communications Department to give you straight answers.

This is about the message, not about the messenger.

grateful for your time and attention

ched macquigg
Judge for yourself whether they should investigate and report upon the scandal, and whether they actually do.

It takes great courage to speak out loud about things

which on the quiet are known to everybody. unk
because of fear of retribution and retaliation.

Auditors from the Council of the Great City Schools found a "culture of fear of retribution and retaliation" against APS whistleblowers.

The APS School Board promised whistleblowers that, their complaints would see individual executive review. The oversight was and is still necessary because complaints against administrators are adjudicated by other (subordinate) administrators.

They have reneged.

Hundreds and hundreds of whistle blowers are being denied due process and don't even know it because they're doing it all on the sly. They get away with it because the establishment media won't tell interest holders the truth.

Journal Editor Kent Walz,
here seen praising APS Supt
Winston Brooks as a "hero"
of transparency, could assign
a reporter to investigate and
report upon allegations and
evidence that the APS Board
of Education is denying due
process to hundreds of
whistleblower complaints.

He could, but he won't;
begging the obvious question.

Why not?

frame grab Mark Bralley

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Investigation" completed June 21, 2010

Former APS Police Chief Bill Reed, replaced the previous Chief of Police Gil Lovato, following a scandal reported in the Journal, link, in February 2007.

Lovato became the subject of a criminal investigation conducted by his own police force.

No other agency was allowed to investigate, and the results of the internal criminal investigation have not been surrendered to any other agency of law enforcement; most in particular, the District Attorney's Office.

Since the Journal first broke the story, I have been trying to see the public record of the several investigations of the scandal.

At least three investigations were done;

  1. one by APS personnel,
  2. one by the APS police force (a criminal investigation) and
  3. one by a private investigator (or two, there is some confusion)
To date, APS and their lawyers have not surrendered any part of any of them.

I had been asking Reed for the records of an investigation that had been going on, at that time, for more than three years.

On June 21st, 2010 Reed emailed;
Investigation is completed. Report is being finalized and will go to the DA's office shortly. Once it goes to the DA's office it will be available for public inspection.
That was almost two years ago.

That was long before the statutes of limitation expired on senior APS administrator's felony criminal misconduct.

Since, the statutes have limitation have expired, and the public records are still kept secret in complete disregard for intention of the Inspection of Public Records Act.

The new police force has no idea what happened to the investigation; haven't seen it or heard about it apparently, since Reed left.

... if you can believe that.

photos Mark Bralley

Neville and Rehm enabling APS cover up.

The leadership of the APS is covering up their self-investigation of felony criminal misconduct in their crooked as can be publicly funded private police force leadership.

They call themselves a Police Department, link, but they really aren't, and that's what State Senator Steven P Neville, link, and Representative William "Bill" R. Rehm, link, want to "fix".

The leadership of the APS had to go clear to Aztec New Mexico to find a Senate sponsor for a bill that would allow them to create their own Police Department. Incredibly, they found an Albuquerque legislator to carry their water in the House.

Secretly promoted to Chief of Police,
Steve Tellez says the internal criminal
investigation of former APS Police
Chief Gil Lovato, the only one done
by any agency of law enforcement,
is "gone".

I'm pretty sure it didn't "go" to
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.

Brandenburg claims impotence in dealing with the admitted felony criminal misconduct, illegal NCIC background checks on whistle blowers and Tom Savage's fiance, and misappropriation of money left in "evidence" into "petty cash" to be spent without authorization or record.

Behind Tellez, APS Chief of Staff Joseph Escobedo. I think it's fair to say we are paying him to lobby in the Roundhouse, in support of legislation that will move oversight over the APS PD, from the Bernalillo County Sheriff, currently Dan Houston, to the school board and superintendent.

Houston made APS sign an
agreement that they would
stop self-investigating
felony criminal misconduct.

If Neville and Rehm are successful,
the board and administration would
again have permission to self-
investigate, and in so doing, create
unlawful, and easily avoidable,
appearances of conflicts of interest
and impropriety.

Those same appearances are created by their current efforts to move their whistleblower program, completely "in house".

APS Supt Winston Brooks is to be put in charge of everything, including more self-investigation of legitimate allegations of his own mis, mal and non-feasance.

I hope we find that both Neville and Rehm were hoodwinked into sponsoring the bill, and do not understand the magnitude of the public corruption and incompetence they are enabling.

Although the bill gives any school district the ability to create their own stand alone police department, as far as I can tell, APS is the only school district that actually has publicly funded private police force, soon to be completely autonomous "department".

photos Mark Bralley

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"APS Family Policy On Hold Needlessly"

That was the title Journal editors ran over a letter to the editors, link, Friday morning.

The letter was written by Sandi Moore and Alma Alvarez, who were identified as members of a group of APS interest holders called, Families United for Education.

They argued to the editors that they deserve due process; consideration of a policy they have proposed. They argue they have put in work and created a "cutting-edge" policy.

They complained to the editors and express their views
in their headline; APS' Policy Committee has put their
Family Engagement Policy
on a "needless hold".

The writers close with the old saw; justice delayed is justice denied.

They United Families feel "... marginalized and disrespected ...".

They should, they have been denied due process.

The Families United for Education have called for the Policy Committee to put their policy proposal on the table for discussion and a vote in February.

There are at least three groups of citizens looking for help from the leadership of the APS;

  1. the Families United for Education, and
  2. the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication, and
  3. the Partners in Education & Advocates for Public Education
Only one of them, PEAPS; enjoys APS support, link, link. The leadership of APS even published the link to their website.

The other two citizen group efforts;
  1. the United Families policy and
  2. the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication petition, link.
are languishing in APS' Policy Committee.

While the United Families complain about waiting "months"
the CACoC petition was delivered in August of last year, link,
and still hasn't seen the light of day, or due process;
open and honest discussion and a role call vote.

The Policy and Instruction
Committee Chair David Peercy
is afraid.

He's afraid of opening Pandora's
Box wikilink.

How do you start a discussion of open and honest two way communication without ending up having to actually provide it?

When he figures that out, the United Families will see their policy discussed and
the Citizens Advisory Council petition will see the light of day.

On that same day, pigs will fly, link.

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, January 20, 2012

APS Police Chief never saw the Caswell Report!

I'm sifting through some records surrendered to me by APS pursuant to a request under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.

I've come across the record of an email exchange between then APS Chief of Police Bill Reed and APS Director of Communications and Custodian of Public Records Rigo Chavez.

Chavez wrote;

"I asked (APS Executive Director of Human Resources) Andi Trybus for a copy of the RCI (Robert Caswell Investigations) investigation of Gil Lovato (APS Chief of Police) that MacQuigg was asking for, but she does not have it.
Do you have a copy?
To which Reed responded;
"I don't think he wants the RCI investigation, he wants the criminal one that we are wrapping up. I don't have the RCI one, I was never given a copy by APS."
Consider what has been admitted here;

  1. clearly Reed was aware of the RCI investigation of felony criminal misconduct by APS senior administrators, and

  2. though he is "wrapping up" his criminal investigation (more than three years! after it began), he still has not asked to see the RCI investigation, or he did ask to see it and
  3. the people who decided to have their own publicly funded private police force self-investigate is own felony public corruption, "has not given a copy" to Reed, for his investigation, of Caswell's evidence and credible testimony of felony criminal acts,
Apparently they never gave one to their Executive Director of Human Resources Andi Trybus. either.

That or they did send her one, and she lost or destroyed it.
She told Rigo Chavez she "does not have it."

Perhaps Chavez lied to Reed about having asked Trybus, or
about her claiming she didn't have it.

But why would he do that?

I have another email indicating Modrall claimed they never got a copy (or lost, or destroyed it).

This is either a Keystone Cops version of an investigation of public corruption and incompetence, or it is the cover up of one.

Kent Walz and the Journal. and KRQE, KOAT, KOB, and KKOB refuse still, to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Keystone Cops or cover up?

The answer apparently, is a little of the one and a lot of the other.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"... turn to educators ..." for how and where to spend money.

APS Supt Winston Brooks appeared on KOAT TV, link.

There will be some money coming to public schools and
Brooks thinks locals should decide how and where to spend it,
not the Governor. According to KOAT;

"Brooks said, Governor Martinez and lawmakers should be turning to educators to figure our how and where to spend an extra $97 million for the classroom."
By "educators" he does not mean teachers and teaching assistants.

Between them, APS teachers have nearly 100,000 years of teaching experience and no seat at the table where it will be decided; how and where to spend our power and resources.
""Those of us who work locally know better about what our communities need than probably the governor does," Brooks said."
By "those of us who work locally", he means senior administrators and board members.

Brooks found ourselves in agreement about the efficacy of using scarce education dollars to by every first grader a book, link.

""Getting every first grader a book is a great symbolic gesture on the part of the governor - do I think that's meaningful school reform? Not at all," said Brooks."

photo Mark Bralley

Was it Access or Caswell?

When the Journal exposed public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS and its publicly funded private police force, link, the leadership of the APS was compelled to hire a private investigator to conduct and impartial and independent investigation, link.

The investigator reported to leadership and their findings named the names of APS senior administrators who had committed felonies.

The report has been kept secret ever since.

Even while statutes of limitation expired on felony criminal misconduct.

There was a time, for a long time, when APS Custodian of Public Records Rigo Chavez had me convinced that the investigation into public corruption in the leadership of the APS Police was conducted by Access Investigations, link. He even gave me a copy of the contract.

At some point, it morphed into an investigation done by Robert Caswell Investigations instead.

I have been at different times and with conviction been told by Rigo Chavez, that it absolutely was one or the other. Which? Both? Who knows?

If they're hiding the truth, we have no idea
what we don't know.

When the question is will you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the ethically redacted truth about public corruption in the leadership of the APS police force, any answer except yes, means no.

All we know for sure is, they won't tell the truth.
They won't surrender the ethically redacted public record
of the investigations of felony criminal misconduct involving
senior APS administrators.

That, and that Kent Walz and the Journal are in cahoots.

photo Mark Bralley

And this is why they don't let Governors run schools.

Governor Susana Martinez has some cash burning a hole in her pocket, link. She proposes re-appropriating the half million dollars a year she is generating by having sold the state jet, and

"... taking that same amount of money and buy every New Mexico first grader a reading book of their very own."
A book first graders can't read.

Hell, third graders can't read; isn't that her whole point?

You can't teach a non-reader to read by buying them a book.
A half-million dollars a year can be put to better use.

Still nothing from the Guvnor,
or from her Public Education
Secretary Hanna Skandera,
about the curving they had
to do, link, to the grades
they gave public schools,
to avoid the public revolt
the un-spun truth would
have created.

photo Mark Bralley

Grading Ramirez

Former PIO, turned TV reporter Chris Ramirez is running a series called Grading the Governor. The whole thing is built on an unscientific poll done on the TV station's website, link.

I went looking for the science and couldn't find any.

As far as we know this whole series could be based on a handful of "votes". Usually a poll is accompanied by the polling data.

Ramirez is accustomed to spinning data, not reporting it.

photo Mark Bralley

Social promotion forced choice lacks insight

The debate over whether to promote public school students who lack third grade reading skills has settled on two choices;

  1. continue promoting students who cannot compete or even survive because of their lack reading skills, or
  2. make poor readers repeat third grade in its entirety, including coursework they have already learned.
The choices are narrowed to two, by rigid thinking; we must do things the way they have always been done regardless of the myriad of changes that have taken place in how students can learn.

There is no shaking the belief that children learn best when they are sitting in classrooms in five rows of six, each with a textbook open on their desk (whether they can make sense of it or not), each expected at any given moment, to be in the same book and on the same page.

"Third grade" standards represent the performance standards for the average eight year old. The underlying premise being, if they're eight years old, they are all equally mature and fully capable of meeting the same standards as every other eight year old child.

Why can't a student follow a prescribed curriculum, at their own pace? Why do they have to march together in a thought choir for twelve years? Why can't they be allowed to slow or stop when they need to and race ahead when they want to?

Twenty five years as a public school teacher have led me to conclude that textbooks are among the least useful of all the teaching and learning tools available to teachers and students.

For no more money than we spend on textbooks, obsolete before they are published, we can give every student access to the internet. I say "internet" to connote the magnitude of the resource, not to suggest giving children unlimited access to the actual internet.

Let's call their machine a "laptop", their "internet" a thumb drive.

Instead of reading in a textbook about history or science or math, they could watch a video production of a moment in history, an experiment in a laboratory, or mathematical concept explained by an awesome computer generated effect. All without having to be a "reader".

Against my better judgement, I tried to present an alternative to social promotion and retention, on KKOB. Immediately, my alternative was defending itself, by itself, of proposing students never have to learn to read. For the life of me, I can't explain that leap; it's almost like they don't want to understand.

We're talking about elementary education here.

The social promotion debate is about third graders not about
high school graduates, though there is that debate yet to be had.

My argument is;
third graders can continue to be challenged in all subjects, including reading, though the use of audio, visual, and participatory learning activities, while we are doing every thing that we can do to address that student's individual difficulties in learning to read.

And that we can do that by using teachers and textbooks as two of many reference sources, and not as the only ones.
The greatest stumbling block to changing the way we educate students in public schools is an unswerving belief in an untested and unexamined apothegm;
Students must learn to read by the third grade
or they cannot continue to learn at all.
And all the while seated in five rows of six, each
with nothing but a textbook in front of them.
No one will admit that there are ways to learn without reading. Students can also learn by watching, listening and doing.

No one will admit that there can be classroom arrangements other than cemetery seating.

Reading is learned by non-readers. One can practice reading skills by reading, but the skills themselves were learned by listening, watching and doing.

If non-readers can be taught to read; they can be taught everything else a third grader needs to know to succeed in any discipline except reading, while they learn to read.

photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

APS Community Advocacy Group

APS Supt Winston Brooks has twice touted an "APS Community Advocacy Group" in the Journal; once last month, link, and again this month, link. A search of APS' award winning website and Google, yielded no information linking to the group nor any evidence that it actually exists.

Since posting, a reader has supplied a link to Partners in Education & Advocates for Public Schools; PEAPS.

The leadership of the APS spends around a million dollars a year to improve their public perception.

There are two ways to improve public perception;

  1. do a better job, or
  2. make the public think you're doing a better job.
APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta and the million dollar a year "communications" effort have a job to do, and that job is not communication.

Their job is to improve public perception.

Without which, they might all loose their jobs.

There is only one group I am aware of trying to improve APS' public perception legitimately; by open and honest public discussion of the obstacles to our children's education; the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication.

Whose petition languishes still, in the denial of due process by the leadership of the APS (ok, only the corrupt and complacent ones).

Due process is being denied by two classes of APS leaders;
  1. those whose personal corruption compels them to fight against transparent accountability to the people, and
  2. those with guilty knowledge of that corruption.
The denial of due process for a legitimate petition violates,
if not the letter, then the spirit of the First Amendment to the
Constitution, and the protection it provides for the human right to petition one's government for redress of grievances.

The First Amendment reads in significant part;
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the ... right of
the people ... to petition the Government for a redress
of grievances.
If the amendment doesn't compel government to consider petitions, what is the point in protecting the right to deliver them?

These people, and I do mean these people, represent a "model" of public education administration;
strictly oligarchical with at will standards and accountability.

While it is the most widely agreed upon model among the oligarchs, it isn't necessarily the best.

The fact that it hasn't worked in more than a hundred years of "trying", is not unimportant.

It will never work, because it is fundamentally flawed.

The model these people prefer for the actual educating of students, is commonly called "cemetery seating". Students find themselves arranged like grave markers in five rows of six.

They're expected to join a thought choir that will think in unison for next twelve years. At every minute of every day, they will be expected to be in the same book, and on the same page, preparing for the same test.

This despite that these groups of young human beings, kittens if you will, have nothing in common but the year of their birth.

If you really looked at a graduating class of third graders, you would find that some are "third grade readers", some fourth, some fifth, maybe one or two, twelfth grade readers.

You would find a fair number reading below grade level.

If you looked at their record, you would find some of them are fourth grade mathematicians; and fifth. And some of them, in addition to being second grade readers, are first graders in something else.

Yet all are expected to proceed together in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed, for twelve years. Even if this could be accomplished, why would you want to?

Why would you want to, except to enable a oligarchical model whose existence depends upon centralized power and decision making?

The fundamental goal of education is to create independent lifelong learners who have no real need for schools. Because they learned how to learn independently, all they need is a reference library; the nearly unlimited digital data base.

The common refrain is;
students need to learn to read by third grade because
after third grade third grade they need to read to learn.
It's clever, it has a nice rhyme and meter, but that doesn't make it true.

The fact that non-readers can learn to read, is proof that
non-readers can learn without being able to read.

A third grade who cannot read at a third grade level, might have an interest in higher level math, or science or any one of an unlimited number of other worthy interests. That student can watch a video or listen to an audio file how ever many times they need, at what ever complexity they can grasp, in whatever language they need, in whatever font they prefer, or even read to them, in any language they want, by an electronic device.

For what we spend on textbooks, we could give every student electronic access to whatever database we choose. We could teach them to be critical and independent lifelong learners.

It is only because we insist that they
read their way out of the their ignorance,
that they are doomed to continuing ignorance.

photos Mark Bralley

Monday, January 16, 2012

The impasse in Española

In the Journal this morning, link.

The is a confrontation going on in Española NM. The fight is between the free press and the government. More specifically, the Rio Grande Sun, link, and the leadership of the Española Public Schools.

Under dispute; whether the press needs permission from the government, to investigate and report upon it?

The complete dependence of Democracy upon a free press,
requires no further explanation or defense.

Only when the press is able to report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the ethically redacted truth, are the people empowered to create and sustain government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The First Amendment addresses the issue by prohibiting government from creating laws that restrict a free press; by prohibiting schools boards from creating rules that keep the press from getting to the truth.

According to the Journal, Rio Grande Sun editor Lou Mattei is looking into possible legal action over what appears to be a pretty clear example of conduct the Constitution specifically and explicitly prohibits. One would hope they would. Bear in mind suing the government requires dedicating stretched resources to sue an opponent with an unlimited budget; in this case a large bore pipeline to education funding.

The leadership of the Española public school has reportedly backed down from their original demand that reporters must get permission from district Superintendent Evelyn Maruska before going on campus or interviewing staff or students, including pre-approval of their specific questions.

The Supt, Evelyn Maruska said:

“What I have requested of the Rio Grande Sun is … that they would provide what their questions are, and also state the who, what, where and why. … That’s only because I want the principals or the directors to be able to answer the questions, or if they did not have all of the answers, they would have time to be able to research.”
What she said was, if there are principals or directors who are unable to answer questions because they don't know the answers; they will have time to do research to cover up ignorance that could be evidence of incompetence.

The premise is so indefensible, the Superintendent is reported to be backing down. Her current and equally indefensible position is;
“All that I am asking for is the subject or the topic. Let’s say that they want to do a piece on uniforms in the school. Tell me it’s about uniforms — that’s all.”
As is the custom, the retreat came without any explanation, defense, or even acknowledgement of the former, even more blatantly unconstitutional position.

The press must have unlimited access to government in order for the people to have unlimited access to the truth about the spending of power and resources that belong to them.

The government is protected from unwarranted intrusion of the press by laws that specifically restrict access. It cannot be allowed to protect itself by inventing restrictions of its own.

Nor can it be allowed to protect itself through indefensible interpretations of legitimate laws.

The leadership of EPS avers; their interpretation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, link, requires them to keep Sun photographers from taking pictures of students without their parents written permission.

The simple truth is the Act only requires schools to have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.

The EPS, if it's anything like the APS, will use operational funds, tax dollars that could be spent in classrooms and on education, to hire lawyers to litigate their exception to the law.

As is customary, any legal bills and fines resulting from deliberate misconduct by politicians and public servants, will be paid by taxpayers and not those politicians and public servants themselves.

If you are wondering about the relationship between the press and the leadership of the public schools here in Albuquerque; there is no impasse. The leaderships of the schools and the establishment's media are in accord; the leadership of the APS can violate the civil rights of the press, even to the point of using a publicly funded private police force to arrest members of the press who insist upon asking inconvenient questions, as long as they; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, KOB and KKOB have as much access as they want.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Honest and flawed

It would be nice to have candidates for political office that
were both;

  1. scrupulously honest and
  2. possessing of an absolutely flawless record according to the standards we apply.
That candidate does not exist.

At best, we can hope for an honest candidate with a marginally "flawed" record.

The best we have offered to us, is candidates who are neither honest nor flawless. And the only way they can get elected is to manipulate public opinion by spending millions of dollars on negative and frankly dishonest campaign ads.

With few exceptions, currency carries elections.

There are a handful of candidates that don't need to sling mud to win elections.

The best candidate I've ever seen running for any office, is Rep Janice Arnold-Jones, link, who is as honest as anyone I know and whose record is as flawless as any I've seen.

She adds manifest character, competence, and courage to a process that pays no attention them.

It will be up to the people then, to pay them the attention they deserve.

photo Mark Bralley

If a half truth really is a whole lie ...

Then Journal editors lied to us this morning, link, though
it could be argued I suppose, that one can't lie in an editorial.

The editorial is about the new school grading system. The editorial is entitled;

A-F Has N.M. on Track To Serve Its Students
It is the opinion of the editors that, A-F grading of schools will foster improvement in the outcome of public schooling.

As any educator and most other people know; the grades A-F are based on performance; performance that is measured in percentages. There is an ideal outcome for any educational endeavor and students achieve some percentage of success.

It varies, but for the most; 90% success earns an A, 80% a B, 70% a C, 60% a D.

Imagine you are a student sitting in one of the five rows of six desks, and your teacher is returning test papers to your class. Imagine your grade is important to you.

Your paper is handed to you and is scored;
Further imagine; you are disappointed because you would have been especially rewarded at home, for an A.

The student next to you is very excited. S/he shows you their paper;
Imagine how you would feel.

It is an important fact to know; the school grades were curved enormously. Beyond what one would expect. Beyond what the people would or will accept.

The editors do not know, do not understand, or do not care
to tell their readers that the schools were graded on a curve.

Or that, the best explanation offered so far is, that the 76 isn't a "percentage", rather, it is the number of points accumulated out of 100 points possible (hand to God).

NM Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera (and Governor Susana Martinez) have been asked to explain in words that any middle school student can understand, why that student's school gets an A,
and the student doesn't.

They won't, and why should they,
if the press won't make them?

Skandera and Martinez are not being candid, forthright, and honest with interest holders.

Neither are the editors.

photos Mark Bralley

Saturday, January 14, 2012

APS looking to legislature to legitimize their cover up

The leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools has it's
own police force. It is a publicly funded, private police force;
accountable to no one, except the leadership of the APS.

Individually, APS police officers are as qualified as any other police officer. Many are retired from the Albuquerque Police Department.

The police force itself however, is not. It is not certificated,
certified, or accredited by anybody but the leadership of the APS.

They employ it as a Praetorian Guard, wikilink.

Five years ago, the Albuquerque Journal investigated and reported upon felonies committed by senior APS administrators, link.

The leadership of the APS decided to use their private police force to self-investigate its own public corruption and incompetence. No other law enforcement agency, not even the District Attorney, has seen one scintilla of the evidence they gathered. They managed to hide it all until statutes of limitation expired on felony criminal misconduct.

The truth of those allegations lies in the ethically redacted public record of several investigations; including but not limited to an independent investigation culminating in the Caswell Report. That allegation, though true, can't be proved because they won't surrender the public record that convicts them.

They are spending dollars that would otherwise end up in classrooms; to pay Modrall lawyers to litigate exception for them, from the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, and from having to surrender evidence of their own corruption.

Their self-investigation of felony criminal misconduct reeks of the appearance of a conflict of interests, the creation of which blatantly violates the APS School Board Code of Ethics which reads;

Avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof ...
There is a conspiracy to cover up public corruption.
If the public record exonerated them from that allegation,
they would surrender it.

It the truth will exonerate them, they wouldn't have had to have their own police force do the investigation, and they wouldn't be hiding the evidence.

They wouldn't have had to promote their Chief of Police Steve Tellez in secret; they wouldn't have to be paying him $90K to make sure the criminal investigation never sees the light of day.

It was he who signed Marty Esquivel's unlawful restraining order, promising to deploy police force in support of Esquivel's efforts to cover up the corruption by violating my Constitutionally protected human rights to expose it.

Their expressed intention, link, pasted in significant part;
"... APS Police be recognized as an independent police department authorized by the Board of Education and overseen by the superintendent."

The problem is, APS' axis of evil; Supt Winston Brooks, School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel, and School Board President Paula Maes (currently enforcing Esquivel's unlawful order), are up to there eyeballs in the conspiracy to cover up corruption in the leadership of the APS and their police force.

As an example of the ties that bind the media and the board, Brooks is a recent recipient of a Hero of Transparency Award, despite his unswerving efforts to hide public records from public knowledge. The award was given to him by Marty Esquivel and Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz who either bamboozled the NM Foundation for Open Government Directors, or, who also new about the cover up and gave Brooks their highest honor anyway.

Paula Maes' fist pounds last on the table at the New Mexico Broadcasters Association. Co-incidentally, not one NMBA member has shown the least inclination to investigate and report upon public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

They will be in the
Roundhouse next week
to try to talk legislators
into giving them even
more police force to abuse, link.

photos Mark Bralley