Thursday, March 03, 2016

APS board, Reedy, Armenta, Chavez and APS lawyers aching for litigation to begin

At the school board meeting Wednesday night, I ran into APS’ longtime Director of Communications and Custodian of Public Records Rigo Chavez.

I asked him if he had actually received my week old email requests for public records.  He acknowledged that he had.

In so doing, Chavez acknowledged that he was in violation of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. Chavez was required to respond to my request within three days. In fact, the law requires him to produce immediately available records, immediately.

aps photo
By any definition of “three days”, Chavez acknowledged being in violation of the law.

A complaint over his failure to produce the records was copied to his boss; APS Executive Director of Communications and Crisis Manager Monica Armenta, and to her boss; soon to be APS Supt. Raquel Reedy.

aps photo
Reedy is also in receipt of a complaint over Armenta's ongoing violation of my First Amendment rights.

Reedy is yet to respond to either complaint.

Why do you suppose Chavez, Armenta and Reedy would, on the advice of APS lawyers, deliberately break the law?

For some reason, they'd like to provoke me into filing complaints in state and federal district courts.

If I file a complaint over
  • Chavez' failure to produce public records, 
  • APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta violation of my civil rights or
  • APS Supt. Raquel Reedy failure to provide any real oversight over her and over her over him
at least two things happen;
  1. The records will not be produced until a settlement is reached some time far in the future, and
  2. Any questions the media might get around to asking them about the suppression of public records and ongoing civil rights violations will be can be addressed with their old standby; we are not allowed to comment on ongoing litigation.”
The truth is, they don’t want to comment on ongoing litigation.  In particular, they don't want to comment on the hundreds of thousands of dollars they squander on litigation and legal weaselry in order to finally admit no guilt in distant settlements.

To the extent that they "can not" it is because they wrote for themselves, a rule they could hide behind rather than responding to legitimate questions, candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

APS lawyer Art Melendres
They spend more than a million dollars a year on lawyers who help them not respond to legitimate questions, about the public interests or about their public service.

Unless and until I decide to file a complaints against APS, Reedy, Armenta, and Chavez, the media remains free to ask them legitimate questions about APS and Armenta’s violation of First Amendment rights, Chavez’ hiding of public records of their guilt, and of Supt. to be Raquel Reedy about her negligently allowing or knowingly permitting Armenta and Chavez to ignore the state and federal laws.

Not that they will of course, just that they could
if they were so inclined.

photos Mark Bralley

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