Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brad Winter retiring from APS?

Steve Tellez was Winter's subordinate.
It's only a rumor, but I've heard that APS Chief Operations Officer Brad Winter is about to retire.

It was from under Winter's watchful eye that former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez allegedly stole public property.  Is the scandal in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force coming home to roost?

It wouldn't be the first time a senior administrator hit the bricks after a scandal in the leadership of APS' police force.

APS Deputy Supt Tom Savage was let go after the 2006 scandal, link.  Good ol' boys, when they have to fire other good ol' boys don't use words like fired, terminated or even, let go. Instead, they like say retired with honors.

Winter, like Savage, will not be bounced for his lack of oversight.
Winter, like Savage, will retire with honors.

Among the things Winter didn't do before he left; he never produced a candid, forthright and honest accounting of the public resources he and they spent sprucing up 6400 Uptown Blvd, link.







photos Mark Bralley

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sheriff's investigation of Steve Tellez into 7th week. What do we make of that?

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office/Dept investigation of former APS Chief of Police has entered its 7th week.  There is still no end in sight.

When the Sheriff's PIO last briefed the establishment media, there was an end in sight.  He indicated that the investigation would take two weeks.

We're into the 7th week now.

The fact that Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston; the guy who sits behind the desk where the buck stops, isn't saying anything is significant.

Something is said, when they say nothing at all.

There is only one reason to hide the truth; that is to escape the consequences of telling the truth.

My experience and cynicism lead me to believe that the Sheriff's detectives have found evidence of a culture of corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.  And now, the "powers that be" would like to keep it hidden.

They have found circumstances that allegedly led one of the senior-most administrators in the entire APS to believe that he could walk off with public property being stored in plain sight, and get away with it.

Nobody allegedly does anything, unless they think they're going to get away with it.

It isn't power that corrupts.  It isn't money.
It is temptation that corrupts, and rather absolutely.
The greater the temptation the more inevitable the corruption.
The more certain you are that you're going to get away with doing something wrong, the greater the temptation, the more likely you are to do it.  Do the (human nature) math.

Which presents a greater temptation?;

  • a hundred dollar bill lying loose on a table in a casino, or 
  • a hundred dollar bill lying loose in an empty hallway?
Which presents a greater temptation and therefore a greater likelihood that people will think they can walk off with public property and get away with it;
  • an administration where there is actual and honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within public service, 
or,
  • an administration with little or no actual honest accountability even to the law.
Talk about an empty hallway.

Blame Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz.  He has allowed his personal relationship with people like School Board enforcer Marty Esquivel to interfere with his greater obligation to the people who trust that he will tell them the truth about the spending of their power and resources in the APS.

Blame all the heavy hitters at the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB who steadfastly refuse to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Blame them for not putting pressure on Dan Houston, to tell us what the hell is going on with his investigation of still more felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

How is a felony criminal investigation of a member of the administrative inner circle of the local school district, one of the twenty or so biggest in the country, not newsworthy?  If only to report that it's all a big misunderstanding and everything is hunky-dory;
  • APS really does have standards of conduct and competence high enough to protect the public interests.
and
  • the accountability to those standards is so swift, so certain, and so inescapable - even for the most powerful politicians and public servants in the APS
that there is no temptation and therefore, no culture of corruption, and no culture of incompetence.

Either way its newsworthy.  They won't report either version.
That makes them complacent, complicit, incompetent or
just plain lazy.




photos Mark Bralley

Monday, April 28, 2014

Armenta now APS' star witness

"Star" in the sense of "best", not "good" or credible, by any stretch.

APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta has the same problem that all of APS' witnesses have; no evidence in support of their testimony.

Not one second of videotape,
not one bite of sound,
not one photograph.

Nothing but her (and their) manifestly conflicted testimony.


In order to escape the consequences of his violation of my Constitutionally protected human rights, Defendant Marty Esquivel has to prove that I am a genuine safety threat to school board members and senior administrators.   Dangerous enough to justify him in banning me from school board meetings for the rest of my life*.

*For rest of my life, or until I admit doing something wrong though I did not and then, promising "sincerely" to Esquivel's personal satisfaction, that I will never do it again, though it is my every right to do it again and again and again.  "It" being; standing up at the podium of a school board meeting public forum and criticizing school board members and senior administrators by name,

I can't really promise that I will never to that again. 
It is in fact, my specific intention.

Like I said; for life.

Esquivel's personal reputation is on the line and he would rather see my reputation destroyed than his own.

Former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez was going to be Esquivel's star witness.

With his years of experience and supposed credibility, his testimony might have carried some weight.  Though again, no evidence to support his allegations.

Tellez' testimony, whether they still try to use it or not, remains conflicted.

It has been necessary (in Tellez' mind) to defame and discredit me ever since I began asking for public records that would reveal his part in felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of the APS' publicly funded private police force, link.

Tellez has spent years slandering and libeling me.  He stirred people up to the point where they spent a quarter of a million dollars fortifying the twin towers against my inevitable "armed assault".  $250K on cameras and Kevlar and not one iota of evidence to justify any of it.  It's ironic that with all the cameras they installed to keep an eye on me, they can't produce a single frame of evidence that I actually did anything I need even to be ashamed of.

As an advocate of higher standards of conduct than the law, I made myself a role model of those standards of conduct.  In the same manner that the leadership of the APS made themselves role models of the Pillars of Character Counts! by establishing and enforcing them on students, as an advocate of their accountability as role models, I acquired my own set of obligations and duties.

As a role model, any of the behavior they allege would have been against my own best interests.  As a spokesperson, I had everything to lose and nothing to gain by threatening anybody. 

Would Armenta have given me the press credentials I asked for if I had ever actually threatened her?  I think not.  If I had, it would still be with everything to lose and against my every interest.

In any case, with Tellez' recent plummet from whatever semblance of credibility he might have had, Defendant Esquivel is in need of a new star witness in his effort to defame and discredit me.

Up steps APS' Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta.

It falls upon her now, to convince a federal judge and jury that I am a threat not only to her but to everyone else.  Never mind that the only threat I pose to any of them is my search for public records and what I write them on this blog.

Oh yes, and the threat I pose to them, from podium during a public forum.

It is interesting that when Esquivel banned me for life, it was only from school board meetings with public forums.
 
If I am a genuine threat to their personal safety, how is it that they only need to protect themselves from me when there is a public forum or a place to stand and hold a poster?

Esquivel's only and slim hope to avoid the public humiliation of being found guilty of violating my civil rights is to somehow create an ex post facto justification for his banning letter.

Esquivel needs the judge and jury to believe that Monica Armenta has legitimate reasons to be afraid of me.  By and through his lawyers, Esquivel writes;

Finally, after sitting through seven hours of powerful testimony in which Ms. Armenta recounted the terror Mr. MacQuigg inspires in her through his intimidating actions, he defiantly posted a blog entry entitled “First, We Need to Kill All The [Public Information Officers]” .
This is Esquivel's best shot? Seriously?

Read the post, link,  and if you'd like, my defense of the headline, link.

No reasonable person, no judge, no jury is going believe the headline was written to inspire terror in APS' highly paid Crisis Manager, link.  Whatever part of Armenta's expressed fear of me is genuine, is not due to anything I did.  If anything, it flowed from or was exacerbated by Steve Tellez relentless slander and libel.

Nevertheless, Defendant Esquivel has paid his lawyer to write, here quoted in significant part;
"Plaintiff’s public posting ... appears to threaten an individual who (had) expressed real and personal fear for her safety the day before (based in part on Plaintiff’s hundreds of pictures of her) is ... “objectively reasonable”.
Fear for her safety based on the hundreds of pictures I've taken of her?

Where is Esquivel's evidence of "hundreds of photographs" I've allegedly taken? During discovery, we produced all of the photographs I had.

The truth is, I have not taken even tens of photographs of Armenta, never mind hundreds.  Honestly, I would be surprised to find I have taken even ten photos her.

I had no reason to take pictures of her.  In truth, I have taken so few photographs of any of them, that during APS Supt Winston Brooks' sworn deposition he testified; he didn't believe he had ever seen me taking photographs.

An image I did capture with my own camera, left, is of Monica Armenta giving me the "APS thumb"; get him out of here!

The thumb is a signal to their Praetorian Guard, their publicly funded private police force, to put an end to the free expression of my Constitutionally protected human rights.

They're certified police officers.  They're not supposed to take orders from people like Armenta, but they do.




photos Mark Bralley except as noted

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Who will stand up for Character Counts!? when? where?

Before we begin, this really isn't about Character Counts! per se.
It is only about Character Counts! because that happens to be
the standards of conduct that the leadership of the APS has
established and enforces upon students.

It is really about character education in general and about
whether public schools should play any deliberate part in
the development of character in students beyond having them
read a hackneyed fable about George Washington and the
Cherry tree, wikilink

APS School Board Policy, by way of the APS Student Behavior Handbook, reads;

students are expected to model and promote 
the Pillars of Character Counts!
As far as modeling standards of conduct, what we're really talking about is modeling accountability.  One models standards by modeling what it looks like to be held honestly accountable to them.

I really don't care whether the Pillars are the standards for APS students, or some other equally appropriate model. That said, the Pillars of Character Counts!, link, are a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.   I have yet to come across a better model.

Even then, its not about the model, its about an honest to God dedication to higher standards of conduct than the law.

The one thing that every character education model shares is the conviction that there are higher standards of conduct than the law and it is important that students learn about them in the hope that they will come embrace them.  In the hope that they will grow into adults who embrace character (however defined) and courage and honor.

When Character Counts! came to APS, it came with a bunch of money. United States Senator Pete Domenici had brought home a federal grant. The records of who spent how much money were not made available even after several requests.

Senator Pete Domenici was actually a Founding Father of Character Counts!; he helped write the six pillars;
  • Trustworthiness, 
  • Respect, 
  • Responsibility, 
  • Caring, 
  • Fairness and 
  • Citizenship.
The Pillar of Trustworthiness, by the way, is the one that has them running. It requires of persons of character and of role models of ethical standards of conduct, candid, forthright and honest responses to a legitimate question about the public interests or about their public service.

I asked the good Senator, by and through his pio, to intervene in APS under the table abandonment of the Pillars he helped write.

He was/is nowhere to be found as APS school boards and superintendents take down Character Counts! posters and hide them away in closets.

They didn't "phase out" Character Counts!; they simply changed their minds.  Character doesn't count; not enough anyway to make any concerted effort at all to teach and role model honest, actual personal accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.


At the time the federal grant needed spending, former APS School Board President Paula Maes Maes was elected or appointed to be the President of the APS Character Counts! Leadership Council.

She is still around.

She is the President and CEO of  the New Mexico Broadcasters Association and apparently has enough juice with the local affiliates to keep them from doing an investigation and report on the abdication of the entire leadership of the APS from their duties and obligations the senior most role models of student standards of conduct. Either that, or the story really isn't "newsworthy".

Maes was the President of the APS Character Counts! Leadership Council.

Awhile later, she and the rest of the board voted unanimously to remove the language in their own code of conduct, that required them to actually step up as a role models of higher standards of conduct than the law.  They removed the role modeling clause in the hope that they could legal liability stemming from their role modeling malfeasance.

Their role modeling clause use to read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
By striking it, they hoped to eliminate their obligations as role models of any standards of conduct higher than the law. The law, it must not be forgotten, is the standard of conduct that every "higher standard" conduct is higher than.

Maes and Domenici are not alone in their abandonment of Character Counts!.

Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez was a huge fan.  He regarded himself as a local Founding Father of the Character Counts! movement.

If I recall, he even had the CC! logo or message on a decal on city vehicles.  APS still does; the Pillars of Character Counts! are displayed on the sides of their publicly funded private police cars.

Chavez is still around and nowhere to be found as the APS Board and senior-most administrative role models abdicate; deciding they would rather be not be actually, honestly accountable to any standard of conduct higher than the law.

Under any standard of conduct higher than the law, their abdication would be seen for what it is, cowardice, corruption, or both.

Greater Albuquerque President Teri Cole was a big cheerleader for Character Counts!.

She still around and nowhere to be found.

Many years ago, I asked her to do something to stop the abdication of the entire leadership of the APS after they voted to strike role modeling from their own standards of conduct.

Her response meant no.

I cannot find any reference that Albuquerque Journal Managing Editor Kent Walz ever stepped up at some point and either endorsed Character Counts! or at least character education.

If he did, he is of course still around
and nowhere to be found.

Literally nowhere; the Journal relentlessly refuses to investigate and report upon an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.
 
Is there really no page in a legitimate newspaper, where this story might fit?

I look forward to my return to the public forum in a couple of weeks.

I will advocate as usual, in favor of meaningful character education in the APS.

It would be nice if a few other people who believe;
if we really want children to grow into adults
who embrace character and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what it looks like.
would show up at that forum and take advantage of a
rare opportunity to actually stand up for
what you believe in, for two minutes.




photos Mark Bralley except for Walz, whom I caught.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

If Tellez is charged, his credibility will be diminished. Is that why he isn't being charged?

Tellez whispers in Winter's ear link
despite Winters' sworn testimony;
nobody whispers in his ear, ever.
To be fair; Tellez could be blowing
in Winter's ear; it's hard to be sure.
If there is a star witness in APS' trumped up allegations against me, it is former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez.

He is at the center of APS' efforts to defend themselves by defaming me.

It is their only defense against the complaints I have filed against them.




If Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston ever completes the investigation of allegations of felony criminal misconduct that have been leveled at Tellez, and the findings of the investigation are that Tellez should be criminally charged, Tellez' character and credibility will suffer.

If he is actually charged, they will suffer more.  Upon his conviction, his testimony will become worthless.

Therefore, it is to the advantage of APS Defendants Marty Esquivel, Winston Brooks, Monica Armenta and the board, if Dan Houston takes forever to complete his investigation.  Forever is an option but not a necessity, they just need it to happen after Steve Tellez testifies against me.

APS, in their motion to reconsider, claims they are looking for an evidentiary hearing.  The last thing they want is for the judge to study the evidence.  They have no supporting evidence; we have an abundance of evidence; too much even to use.

What they are looking for is a "testimonial" hearing; an opportunity for the judge to listen to the manifestly conflicted testimony APS COO Brad Winter, APS ED of C, Defendant Monica Armenta and Defendant Steve Tellez, former APS Chief of Police.  None of whom have any hard evidence to support their unfounded allegations.

Armenta for example, has claimed that I followed her around in my car.  Under oath, she admitted that it was only one time and she didn't actually see me following her but, because we had once ended up at the same place at the same time, I "must have followed her" there.  Armenta has a motive to lie, she has been the subject of a number of exposes on her character and competence as t public information officer and APS senior administrator.

Brad Winter has also been the subject of numerous posts on this blog, on his character and competence.  He has the same motive to lie.  When his sworn deposition is compared to videotapes of the same incidents, there is very little in common.

Steve Tellez will testify, if not investigated, charged and convicted first of felony criminal misconduct, about the threat I constitute to the leadership of the APS.  He has a motive to lie.  The threats I constitute are my relentless efforts to get a hold of findings of several investigations into allegations of felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force.

The findings will show that Tellez, if not guilty outright of complicity in public corruption and incompetence, was complacent about it.  He had guilty knowledge of that corruption and incompetence.  That, or he was bone numbingly incompetent as Deputy Chief.

The question(s) then;
Is the investigation of allegations of criminal misconduct by a former member of APS' innermost circle of leadership, being deliberately delayed
  • in the interests of Marty Esquivel, Winston Brooks, Monica Armenta and the Board (which would be public corruption) or
  • because the Sheriff's detectives aren't up to the task (which would be incompetence), or
  • is it legitimately delayed for unknown reason which his PIO Aaron Williamson cannot possible reveal without "alerting potential defendants to destroy evidence, coordinate stories or flee the jurisdiction"? 

Why would Houston deliberately drag his feet?

Research suggests that cultures of corruption and incompetence exist because the good ol' boys take care of each other.  Good ol' boys are accountable to each other, and certainly not under any system they cannot control.

Their lack of candor, forthrightness and honest flows not from of personal allegiance to each other but allegiance to way of doing things in ways that keep the truth hard to find; a situation that floats the boats of the all of the corrupt and incompetent.

Houston may be covering for Esquivel and Brooks out of some personal allegiance, or he may not even like them.  That question is moot.

The effect is the same, a simple investigation will drag on and on and on, until the good ol' boys can no longer be held actually and honestly accountable.




photos Mark Bralley

Monday, April 21, 2014

BCSD/O Tellez investigation enters 6th week. Still, no end in sight.

If ever I have to write a post entitled

Tellez investigation enters 157th week, 
it will be a week too late for the people to get their pound of flesh from a public servant who betrayed their trust.

Statutes of limitation will have expired on felony criminal misconduct.  Evidence and testimony will not be used in a criminal prosecution of a senior APS administrator over alleged felony criminal misconduct.

Really?     No way!

These same players; APS, BCSO, Tellez,
have done it before.  They will do it again.

The leadership of the APS and the Bernalillo County Sheriff Office allowed statutes of limitation to expire on felony criminal misconduct while holding evidence secret from prosecution.

In 2006, there was felony criminal misconduct going on in the leadership of the APS Police force.  The Journal investigated and reported on it in 2007, link.

The District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has never filed charges.

She has never filed charges, because
she has never seen the evidence.

She has never seen the evidence because the leadership of the APS decided to not let her shoe it to her.

Brandenburg claimed ;
  • never to have seen the evidence of felony criminal misconduct and
  • to be without the authority to demand to see it.
The evidence still has not been produced; not to the DA and not to the public knowledge.

The findings of every investigation of public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS Police force are still hidden from the District Attorney and they are still hidden from the people.

The leadership of the APS still has not explained why they want to keep the ethically redacted public records secret.

Defendant Esquivel
Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks are spending a lot of your money in federal court, in their effort to keep those findings secret from the people and secret from criminal prosecution.

They dip from a bottomless pool and spend without adequate oversight.






By any honest account; there is a culture of corruption and incompetence in most governments in New Mexico.

Cultures of corruption and incompetence exist in no small part, because the likelihood of being caught and punished is so miniscule.

APS Supt Brooks
With pitifully few exceptions, no pound of flesh is ever taken from powerful politicians and public servants who betray the trust of the people who elected, appointed and or hired them.  For powerful good ol' boys in New Mexico, there is no
payment or punishment that involves suffering and sacrifice on the part of the person being punished.
Its one of the accoutrements of power in New Mexico; if you get caught and you're powerful enough, you just pump in more tax dollars and walk away scot-free.


Steve Tellez does not deserve to walk away scot-free.  No politician or public servant who betrays the public trust should walk away scot-free.  The people deserve their pound of his flesh.

They should especially not walk because strings are being pulled.

Tellez will walk in order to that the people who enabled him to betray the public trust, politicians like Marty Esquivel and public servants like Winston Brooks, can walk on their own guilty knowledge and personal corruption and incompetence.

Kent Walz and the Journal are part of the cover up.

Paula Maes, Winston Brooks
The NM Broadcasters Association Affiliates are bowing to the influence of their President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Maes;  APS heavy hitter at all times relevant herein.

How else do you explain the circumstances?

How else do you explain all of this happening in plain sight and nothing in "the news"?   Not even an investigation and report that my allegations are all bullshit.

Walz caught here by author.
If Kent Walz could publish a report that there is no standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, why would he not?

What is stopping him, and them, from telling us that the standards of conduct and competence that apply to school board members and senior administrators are high enough to protect the public interests?

What is stopping him and them from telling us that board members and senior administrators are honestly accountable to those standards?

Except that the standards are not high enough and
the accountability to them is virtually non-existent.




photos Mark Bralley

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Esquivel wants a reconsideration of the worst legal decision in 25 years

KRQE lawyer Marty Esquivel is a lot of things.  If asked, he will point out that he is expert in the First Amendment.

In especially, he is so expert in conducting public meetings and protecting the civil rights of participants that he is scheduled to teach a seminar on exactly that subject during NM FOG's upcoming confab.

It would be a huge blow to his ego if the worst legal decision in 25 years found him to be otherwise.  He would like very much to have that albatross removed from around his neck.

Esquivel's problem is that for all practical intents and purposes, he forfeited his right to ask the court for any favors by publicly insulting the court in the Journal; offering that in 25 years he hadn't seen a worse decision or one he "disagreed" with more.

A motion has been filed in federal court.  The motion to reconsider the preliminary injunction enjoining Marty Esquivel and the board from enforcing their unconstitutional ban on my free exercise of my "privilege" to attend school board meetings and public forums. 

The motion was filed by the law firm that represents taxpayers, the board and all of the individual defendants except Marty Esquivel.  Taxpayers and Marty Esquivel have their own entirely different law firm.

Regardless of who is named where, its clear that the person with the most to lose in this case is Marty Esquivel.

"The board" will get over losing a civil rights case in court; Esquivel won't.

Esquivel and his dream team defense enjoy an unlimited budget and no public oversight.  He is personally responsible for the wasting a half a million tax dollars in an effort to cover his own ass.

He and his defense enjoy as well, unlimited support from
KRQE, Kent Walz and the Journal, and the rest of the
"news outlets" here in River City.

Esquivel, by and through his lawyers "consents"
to the filing of a motion to reconsider
the worst legal decision in 25 years.

... the legal decision that found him to be exactly what he is.




photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"This satisfies your request under IPRA."

I had made a public records request of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office or "Department"; unclear as it reads Department on their website, link.

I am requesting any public records that reflect of the number of man hours and other resources that the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department has spent investigating the alleged theft of ammunition from the APS.
BCSO (or D?) Local Custodian of Public Records Sgt Aaron Williamson writes that the request was received by him on April 1, 2014.

The law requires the immediate production of immediately available records.  A Custodian worth his salt knows that.

Unless the fact that the BCSO or D does
... not track specific hours involved with each case.
is news to  BCSO or D veteran Sgt Williamson, his response was about as immediately available as immediately available gets.

I just now received the response, so it took 15 days.

15 days is the absolute maximum "allowed" by the law.

It's "legal".

It meets the lowest standards of conduct acceptable among civilized human beings.  It meets the standards of conduct that every higher standard of conduct, is higher than.

Williamson is screwing with the press; in First Amendment terms.  Unless he treats all members of the press this abysmally, I am being subject to disparate treatment and opportunity to exercise my Constitutionally protected human right to be the press.

He is screwing with me because he wants to, or
because he was ordered to, or
both.

He, or both, are screwing with me because they can.
The law in its loosest sense and legal weaselry allows them to.

Sheriff Dan Houston, by and through his trusted servant, offered;
I can tell you that detectives were assigned the case on March 11, 2014. As of today’s date the case is still active and being investigated.

This satisfies your request under IPRA.
Sincerely,

Sergeant Aaron Williamson
Custodian of Records
It does of course, satisfy the request, but not in a government
of the people, by the people and for the people kind of a way.

The people still have no real idea whether the power and resources they have entrusted to Dan Houston are being used in the public interests, in someone's personal interests, or not being used at all.

Odd that they don't keep that kind of a record.

How can they properly prioritize spending of our power and resources if they don't keep track of how much of each they're spending?

Odder still, that they start screwing with you if you start asking any questions.

Please people; there is an elephant in the room.

There is a least one of them in every room where questions are being asked by anybody, about the public interests and about the public service of politicians and public servants.

We pay the elephants to tell us the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but
the ethically redacted truth and in a timely manner.

They don't.  It isn't their job.
That's not why they're in the room.

Their job is to spin the truth or obfuscate the production of the truth in the personal best interest of the politician or public servant they serve instead of serving the people.

Briana Anderson does it for Mayor Richard Berry.

Monica Armenta does it for Winston Brooks and the Board.

Aaron Williamson does it for Dan Houston.

Where else but in government to you pay people to screw with you?

Is there a single powerful politician or public servant anywhere
who doesn't have a public servant working under them
whose job it is to make that politician or public servant look good
even when, and especially when they don't?




photo Mark Bralley

Albuquerque top cops in free fall

Nearly the entire leadership of law enforcement for as far as the eye can see, is manifestly corrupt and or incompetent.

Today we find in the Journal, link, that top cop at the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department has joined the top cops at APS and the APD in their fall from grace. (APD Chief Ray Schultz in absentia, having gotten out while the getting was good.  The same can be said for the interim APD chief; got out while the getting was good).


Despite Sheriff Dan Houston's protestations of innocence and the fact that "the county admits no liability", taxpayers will be forking over around 3/4s of a million dollars because the complaints against Houston are justified.  He did defame the plaintiff (where have I heard that before).  He did discharge her in retaliation and in breach of her contract.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston admitted calling the complainant and another employee “a couple of whores.”

Not a big deal in his mind because he was just “repeating an allegation made by a third party” during a meeting he thought was in secret.

It was “hell” working as the attorney and spokeswoman for Houston.

The government did fail to release public records.

"A judge in November 2013 ordered the county to pay almost $140,000 for failing to quickly provide the public records under the state Inspection of Public Records Act. That figure continued to rise as the office continued to fail to produce the documents."
- Just like APS' failure to produce the findings of investigations of allegations of felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force; the figure continues to rise as APS continues to fail to produce ethically redacted public records. -

Houston is quick to point out;
"... Vega-Brown agreed as part of the settlement to “dismiss me from the lawsuit she brought against me.”
Politicians and public servants have written into their contract with the people whose power they wield and whose resources they spend, an escape clause.

When they have been found to be, or are about to be found to be guilty of squandering the public trust and treasure, pols and public servant are allowed to cough up even more tax dollars to have their names scrubbed from the settlement. 

Settlement values increase in order that complainants will abandon their desire to see individuals held individually accountable for their individual misconduct. Public resources have been, are being, and will be spent to protect the personal reputations of corrupt and or incompetent politicians and public servants.

The people's trust and treasure are squandered in order to dissociate corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants from their corruption and the incompetence and from the just consequences of their corruption and incompetence.

Public records violation fines are paid by taxpayers,
not by the politician or public servants
who tried to keep them hidden in violation of the law.

Politicians and public servants are allowed to redact their own records, and there is no consequence for individual politicians and public servants who redact their record in violation of the law; no matter how egregious.

Settlement values increase in order that pols and public servants can just "move forward".

According to the Journal, "the settlement agreement will be made public this week or next".

This despite the fact that the N M Inspection of Public Records Act clearly intends that immediately available records are to be produced immediately or as soon as practicable.

Not in accordance with politician's and public servant's own need to manage public perception.

Make that public outrage.

Reminiscent of a dog chasing its tail, the merry go round of good ol' boy justice has Houston's BCSD investigating allegations against APS'  former Chief Steve Tellez who might well ask Houston,
who in the hell are you to be investigating me?
Houston's investigation of Tellez is more than a month old, with no end in sight.




photo Mark Bralley

Monday, April 14, 2014

BCSD APS Steve Tellez investigation enters fifth week

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

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

If not by them, than why not
by me?

It is taking so long because;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



photo Mark Bralley

Berry broke the law. Will he pay the fine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The question unfortunately, is not rhetorical in the least.

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

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

Great leaders demand them.

Richard Berry has done neither.




photo  Mark Bralley


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

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Open letter to the editors of the Albuquerque Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cc link, to the editors upon posting
receipt was acknowledged

Saturday, April 12, 2014

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

One would think.

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

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

Transparency limited only by the spirit of the law.

A searchable archive would be even better.


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

At the sound of the explosion,

the danger has passed.

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

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

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

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

Does character count in politics and public service?

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

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

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

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

In positions of trust, guilty knowledge is malfeasance.

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

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

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

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

Are the people uttering those words admitting that

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

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

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

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

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

It stands to reason.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The DoJ on the APD

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

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

Who knew or should have known?

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

Who is responsible; whose head should roll?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look! something shiny!




photo Mark Bralley

Why isn't public education getting better and cheaper?

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

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

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

What else could it be?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




photo  Mark Bralley

Has Marty Esquivel burned a bridge?

According to the Journal, link,

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

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

Is Marty Esquivel out of control?




photo  Mark Bralley

"Ban is lifted on APS critic"


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

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

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

Had I been interviewed;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They couldn't produce the video. 

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

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

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



photos Mark Bralley

Thursday, April 10, 2014

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They packed up the evidence and hid it in closets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

"idiosyncratic behaviors"

When the trial judge wrote;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They use it to stifle dissent.

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

Kent Walz and the Journal aid and abet.




photos Mark Bralley