Monday, April 07, 2014

Tellez criminal investigation enters 4th week

I would like to know the truth about the criminal investigation of allegations against former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez.

I have the same right to know the truth about the spending of the people's power and resources, as anyone else.  It is fair to say that the City and County public information officers are doing as little as the law requires in their efforts to respond to my requests for information.

In fact, by the time the search for information reaches the level of Custodians of Public Records, less is done than the law requires.

They routinely insist that they have 15 days to produce any public record.  This though the clearly expressed intent of the NM Inspection of Public Records Act is; immediately available records should be produced immediately, or as soon as "practicable".

When I challenged them on the practice, I received no response.

In any event, we are still waiting for the truth not so much about what Tellez did, as the truth about the circumstances in the leadership of the APS that made Tellez believe he could get away with what he did.  People don't commit crimes if they think they're going to get caught when they do.

The why Tellez thought he might get away with what he allegedly did, includes but is not limited to the findings of two independent investigations commissioned by the leadership of the APS.

The finding are in the immediate possession of the leadership of the APS and they are being hidden from public knowledge in violation of the NM Inspection of Public Records Act.

The findings are being hidden by means of protracted litigation using public money and against the public interests.

Weaknesses in the law allow the leadership of the APS to hide the truth.

It fair to wonder;

If the truth makes them look good,
why are they hiding it?
If the truth makes them look good, why do they have to public information officers to not tell it?

It's difficult for me to understand why it is taking the Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston a month come to a conclusion that private investigators came to, link. two weeks after Tellez was placed on paid administrative leave.

Is that unusual?  Is is unreasonable?

If it is or isn't, isn't on Houston's list of things he is going to talk about, even though his PIO.

His PIO has joined the list of public information officers pulling on the wrong end of the rope in the struggle for access to public records.

We pay PIOs to inform the people; candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

Instead, their days are spent polishing a persona consistent with the re-election or reappointment of the people they work under.

The truth about the public corruption in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force belongs to the people.  The people have a right to know how their power and resources are being spent.

Its not fair to blame Houston's PIO Sergeant Aaron Williamson, or Mayor Richard Berry's PIO Breanna Anderson, or APS' Executive Director of Communication Monica Armenta and other PIOs for their lack of candor, forthrightness and honesty.

They're only following orders.

It is fair to blame the people who knowingly permit, negligently allow, or who themselves give the orders to spin the truth.

In this case, the buck stops on the desks of APS Supt Winston Brooks and of Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.

They both have reasons to hide the truth about executive and administrative incompetence and corruption because some of that corruption has included the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department direct participation.  The BCSD participated in APS' criminal abuse a federal criminal database in an effort to harass and retaliate against APS whistleblowers.

Dan Houston legitimizes the power APS is abusing.
His failure to end the abuse enables it to continue.

There is an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.  Sheriff Houston is ultimately responsible for conducting an investigation of evidence of criminal misconduct by a member of APS' inner most circle.  Former APS Police Chief Steve Tellez was the administrative enforcer; the counterpart to the school board's enforcer, former School Board President Marty Esquivel.

That investigation needs to be a lot of things,
not the least of which is timely.

Stakeholders are entitled to a timely resolution of an investigation into the squandering of their trust and treasure.

The longer that the ethically redacted truth remains hidden,
the less likely that the truth will ever be told.

These same players; the leadership of the APS and the leadership of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, are still hiding the truth about the last time they got together to criminally violate the civil rights of whistleblowers.

Sheriff Dan Houston told me that the evidence of the Sheriff's Department complicity in completing illegal criminal background checks on APS whistleblowers and a Deputy Superintendents fiancee, disappeared when Sheriff Darren White left office.

It was under White's oversight that APS administrators criminally abused the public trust by using a federal resource for their own selfish interests; the harassment and retaliation against whistleblowers.

So here we are again, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department is in possession (likely) of evidence of senior APS administrators criminally violating the public trust, and they are dragging their heels over producing it.

It's not so much that it's taking too long.  The BCSD may have at the moment, bigger fish to fry.

The problem is;  Sheriff Houston, by and through a PIO, is not willing to be candid, forthright and honest with stakeholders about the status of his investigation.

His lack of candor, forthrightness and honesty does not play well in the light of the ongoing cover up of the truth about the last time the APS and the BCSD got together, criminally misbehaved, self-investigated their own criminal misconduct, and then didn't file criminal charges against any of the players.

The truth is, nobody really knows for certain who first argued;
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
But they were wrong.  Power cannot corrupt.  Temptation corrupts.  Temptation corrupts absolutely.

The opportunity to abuse power without consequence is tempting.  The opportunity to abuse power without consequence is corrupting, absolutely.

Hiding the truth is a mechanism for abusing power without feeling consequences.

There is only one reason to hide the truth, and that is
to avoid the consequences of telling the truth.

In ideal circumstances the people's interests are protected by a free press working diligently to expose public corruption and the squandering of our trust and treasure.

In exponentially less than ideal circumstances we have
Kent Walz and the Journal.

Woe are we.

photos Mark Bralley

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