Get To Work With Resources You Have

DA: Doing Less with More

This ABQ Free Press Article, March 6, 2017 • ABQ FREE PRESS WEEKLY on the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office entitled ” Raul Torrez Has it Backwards on Budget, Workload” by retired APD Police Sergeant Dan Klein substantiates what I said in my February 9, 2017 blog article “Try Doing Your Job First Before Complaining.”

Based on my own experiences with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office, Torrez can do the job with the resources he has.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office is the largest law firm in the State of New Mexico and its budget dwarfs all other DA offices in the State, as it should, because it has the highest caseloads.

The DA’s office employs 287 people which include 108 attorneys, 35 Prosecution Specialists, 15 Victim advocates, 15 investigators 114 Support Staff.

When I was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney by District Attorney Jeff Romero, we were faced with the identical dilemma of heavy caseloads, stacks and stacks and stacks of files in the hallways because of no storage, a poor case management system and poor working conditions in a deteriorating building, low salaries, bad morale.

Four years later and when we left, the District Attorney’s office was in the best shape it had ever been with increased staffing, salary increases, an updated case management system, the construction of a brand new District Attorney’s Office and significantly reduced cases loads complying with national standards.

Torrez can get the job done, but it will require him to make difficult decisions, decisions he was elected to make, especially when it comes to caseloads and deciding what cases have merit to pursue and what cases should be dismissed.

No doubt the biggest challenge Mr. Torrez now faces is how to deal with high profile cases, especially police officer involved shooting cases.

There are over 36 police officer involved shooting cases pending review and a decision on whether to bringing charges against police officers for unjustified shootings.

I have high hopes for Mr. Torrez and confident he has a strong desire to do a good job.

Only time will tell if he is up to the task of managing the largest law firm in the State of New Mexico.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.