KRQE came tonight with an ethically indefensible report on the settlement of my federal complaints. Co-incidentally the complaints were filed against their own lawyer Marty Esquivel. A fact they conveniently forgot to disclose when they wrote the story.
As far as I know, I've never met the "reporter" Lysee Mitri, and I certainly didn't talk or meet with her before she filed the story.
She or someone else wrote;
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man just won a half-million dollar settlement from Albuquerque Public Schools, but he says he is not happy about it.By sitting quietly in the back, I was just fooling everybody. At any minute I might jump up and break a rule supposed to maintain order and safety.
At an Albuquerque School Board meeting on Tuesday, Charles MacQuigg sat silently in the back, but don’t let that fool you.
“I have been at odds with the leadership of APS for nearly two decades,” MacQuigg said.
APS said MacQuigg doesn’t follow the rules that are in place to maintain order and safety.
“I think he’s really disrespectful,” said School Board Treasurer Steven Michael Quezada.
Once, MacQuigg wore an elephant mask to a meeting and refused to remove it.
More than once, he was kicked out. Eventually, he was banned from all meetings indefinitely and APS cited safety concerns.
However, MacQuigg responded with a federal lawsuit.
“The evidence is clear,” he said. “My civil rights were violated.”
While APS denies violating MacQuigg’s rights to freedom of speech and due process, they settled for $575,000. In addition, APS said its attorney fees came to $288,000. APS said insurance will be used to handle part of the payout.
“I’m not happy at all,” Quezada said. “I don’t think that we should settle with people who come to disrupt meetings and use that kind of format to make a living or make money.”
MacQuigg has sued before.
“I’ve sued them now three times over their retaliation that they’ve released on me for trying to hold them accountable for their conduct,” MacQuigg said.
There is one thing MacQuigg and APS can agree on.
“They shouldn’t have been wasting taxpayers money on this,” MacQuigg said.
“We’re wasting our funds fighting this,” Quezada said.
At a time when the budget is already tight, no one is happy to see part of it spent this way.
“It is just not right,” Quezada said.
“I think it’s outrageous,” MacQuigg said.
He said the settlement is not gratifying because nothing has changed in terms of accountability within APS leadership.
- If the reporter has shown the simple courtesy of interviewing me, she wouldn't have written that "once", I wore an elephant mask to a meeting and refused to remove it. That's not accurate, I played the elephant in the room on two occasions; quietly, up against the farthest wall. Esquivel testified under oath that he thought I was a mouse. Monica Armenta testified under oath, that she thought I was playing Chucky Cheese, link. In fact, they were so embarrassed by the mask the first time I wore it, they decided to arrest me if I did again.
- Even if the reporter had talked to me, she probably still would not have pointed out that the federal court judge ruled that; not only did they violate my civil rights when they removed me from a meeting for wearing an elephant mask, but that that they doubled down on the violation when the used the mask as an excuse to ban me for life.
- I would have told her before she wrote that I "don't follow rules", every "incident" was videotaped and the videotapes were viewed by the judge who didn't buy their claim that I was breaking any rules. There is no evidence that I broke rules.
- "More than once, he was kicked out" (of meetings) she wrote. Had she asked me, I would have told her that the leadership of the APS had their Praetorian Guard either removed me or deny me access to more than a dozen meetings all told. And every one of them was illegal; a violation of my Constitutionally protected human rights to petition my government and to be the press; ever vigilant as it is supposed to be, of incompetence and corruption in government.
- "... and APS cited safety concerns." Had she asked, I would have told her that the "safety concerns" materialized after the complaints were filed; a cheesy bit of weaselry that is the signature of APS' response to complaints; destroy the complainant. The incidents in question occurred in a place where there are more cameras and cops per square foot than any other building in the APS, and yet no evidence was ever produced that showed me creating any safety concerns at all; not one photograph, not one audio bite, not one word of unconflicted testimony.
- "MacQuigg has sued before." she wrote. Had she asked, I would have told her that though I was the plaintiff in those cases, I was in fact defending myself against their relentless retaliation for my efforts to expose the ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS. The fact that I won the suits speaks to their legitimacy and necessity more than to my interest in filing lawsuits.
- "He said the settlement is not gratifying because nothing has changed in terms of accountability within APS leadership. Had she asked me, I would have said