Pat Davis Can Run for Congress But Can’t Hide From His Record

City Councilor Pat Davis was elected to the Albuquerque City Council in October 6, 2015 to represent District 6, which encompasses the International District, Mesa Del Sol, Nob Hill, Southeast Heights, and the University of New Mexico.

Pat Davis previously worked as a police officer for the U.S. Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C. and the University of New Mexico Police Department and at one time served as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2010, Pat Davis ran for Bernalillo County Sheriff as a Democrat.

Davis earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from New Mexico State University.

Less than two years after being elected to the City Council, Davis is now running as a progressive Democrat to replace 1st Congressional District Congresswoman Mitchell Lujan Grisham.

Former Democratic Party Chair Debra Haaland, former UNM Law School Associate Dean Antonette Sedillo Lopez, immigration and tax attorney Damian Lara, and Albuquerque physicist Dennis Dinge and Edgewood Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams have announced their candidacies for the 1st Congressional seat.

Former United State Attorney for the District of New Mexico Damon Martinez is expected to be a candidate for congress but has yet to announce.

When Pat Davis ran for city council, I supported him without reservation and even went door to door campaigning for him.

I supported Davis for city council because ostensibly he is a progressive Democrat, he is a former police officer and I had high hopes that he would demand accountability from a Republican Mayor.

I believed Davis would advocate civilian oversight and accountability from the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) when it came to the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms.

I had high hopes for Pat Davis when he was elected to the city council, but no longer.

To say the least, I have been very disappointed with Pat Davis.

I regret supporting Davis for city council because of what he has done and has not done on the city council.

Pat Davis has agreed with the Berry Republican Administration and agreed with the Republican City Councilors on so many strategies and issues you would think Pat Davis was in fact a Republican.

Some specifics regarding Pat Davis’s action and voting record on the Albuquerque City Council:

1. Davis has voted repeatedly for and supported Republican Mayor Berry’s ART Bus project and funding. Davis refused to advocate to put ART on the ballot for public approval, telling his constituents at a forum that there was nothing he could do and it was the Mayor’s project. Davis voted to spend federal grant money that had yet to be appropriated by congress. The ART Bus project has been a total disaster resulting the destruction of the character of Route 66 and having a negative impact and resulting in several businesses going out of business. A few Nob Hill businesses at one time advocated a recall of his election because of his support for ART.

2. When he served on a task force to overhaul Albuquerque’s public fiancé law, Pat Davis declined to advocate meaningful changes to our public finance laws making it easier for candidates to qualify for public finance. The only change he agreed to was increasing the amount of money candidates get and not the process of collecting the donations to qualify and not expanding the time to collect qualifying donations. The lack of changes to the public finance laws favors incumbents like Pat Davis.

3. The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget. Davis has done nothing when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms and has never challenged the APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms. Each time the Federal Monitor has presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Davis has been silent and has declined to demand accountability from the Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis has failed to attend any of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.

4. Davis advocates for enactment of the Healthy Workforce ordinance by voters which mandates the pay of sick leave by employers, and is always there for a photo op with those organizations who pushed to get it on the ballot. However, Davis has never demanded the City Attorney’s office enforce the existing Albuquerque minimum wage ordinance. Davis claims to be in favor of increasing the minimum wage, but he has never demanded the Mayor nor the City Attorney to enforce the current city ordinance enacted by voters with a 2 to 1 margin. Currently there is a class action lawsuit where minimum wage workers are being forced to defend the city minimum wage ordinance without city hall intervention or help.

5. Since being on the Council, Davis has voted for over $63 million dollars in revenue bonds to build pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down Central not seeking public input and bypassing the capital improvements process (CIP) that mandates hearings and public votes. The use of revenue bonds is discretionary with the City Council requiring seven (7) votes and revenue bonds do not require significant review and public hearings as is required with capital improvement bonds.

6. Davis voted for the city ordinance amendments requiring equal pay for woman, but failed to demand more. The amendments to the equal pay for woman ordinance sound good and look good on paper but accomplish very little. The truth is that the equal pay for woman ordinance only applies to city contracts and those who do business with the city. The ordinance is voluntary and gives preferential treatment on city contracts to those who voluntarily comply. The equal pay for woman ordinance should apply to all businesses licensed to do business in Albuquerque, it should be mandatory for all businesses and enforced by city planning that issues business licenses, and could be made so by the city council.

7. Davis voted to award Taser International, a five-year, $4.4 million contract for 2,000 on-body cameras for police officers, and cloud storage despite the fact the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is investigating the $2 million no-bid contract the city entered with Taser in 2013 because former Police Chief Ray Schultz began consulting work for Taser while he was still on the city’s payroll. This is one contract that should have never been approved by the city council when there is an ongoing investigation, but Davis voted for it.

8. Davis attempted to privatize certain APD law enforcement functions with the hiring of a private security company that would employ 25 retired law enforcement personnel who would do field service work and reports for APD. Davis withdrew the bill after it was reported that the no bid contract for $1 million dollars would go to co-sponsor Republican City Councilor Brad Winter’s former campaign manager.

9. Davis called for the City to select and hire a private “outside investigator” to investigate the allegations made by a former APD records custodian that there was erasing, altering, corrupting or tampering and withholding of evidence of police officer lapel camera video in police officer involved shooting cases. The allegations included that high ranking APD command staff and the City Attorney’s office ordered the altering or withholding of lapel camera video. The allegations are criminal in nature and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced that there is an ongoing criminal investigation, but Davis wanted a private company to investigate and report to the city.

10. Davis partnered Republican Councilor Don Harris to write and sponsor a city ordinance to address blighted, abandoned or substandard commercial properties requiring property owners to make repairs when a number city ordinances and building codes are already on the books that are not being enforced to address substandard properties including one of the strongest nuisance abatement ordinances in the country. Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel for publicity sake, Davis and the City Council should have fully funded the Safe City Strike Force and utilize condemnation actions to address blighted commercial properties that are irreparable and that have become magnets for crime.

11. Davis voted for the final adoption of the ABC-Z comprehensive plan which will have long term impact on our neighborhoods and favors developers. The enactment of the comprehensive plan was a major priority of Republican Mayor Berry and the development community pushed hard for its enactment before Berry leaves office. The ABC-Z project rewrite is nothing more than making “gentrification” an official city policy and the “gutting” of long standing sector development plans by the development community to repeal those sector development plans designed to protect neighborhoods and their character.

12. When the Albuquerque City Council adopted the 2017-2018 city budget containing longevity pay plan for police officers, Davis sponsored the budget amendment to give to the longevity pay but only if the city met its quarterly revenue projections calling into doubt if the promised longevity pay would ever be paid to police. If Davis really wanted to fund the longevity pay program he would have sponsored an amendment funding it without any strings attached nor contingent on the city meeting revenue projections.

13. Davis sponsored a bill aimed at “reforming” the Albuquerque Police Department by banning any APD involvement whatsoever in the investigation of officer involved shooting cases. Davis ignored the fact that APD is operating under a Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). Three years after the Department of Justice found a “culture of aggression” and after millions spent negotiating and implementing a federal consent decree, Davis attempted to take the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) out of the equation when it comes to investigating its deadly police shootings when such involvement is mandated by federal court order and the consent decree.

14. On an 8 to 1 vote, the Albuquerque City Council enacted the 2017-2018 city budget, with Davis voting for it, that provided 3% raises for city employees and longevity pay for APD sworn police officers. The budget was passed over the objections of Mayor Berry who then vetoed the city budget for the first time in his seven (7) years as Mayor. Berry claimed the budget passed by the council was “structurally unsound” objecting to the pay raises and longevity pay. At the same time Berry announced his veto, Davis and Republican City Councilor Brad Winter announced with the Mayor a $528.9 million dollar “compromise budget”. Davis apparently had no intent of even attempting an override of the very budget he voted for and passed on an 8-1. The Davis/Winter “compromise budget” reduced city employee pay raises to 1% and drastically reduced the police officer retention pay program by anywhere from $1.6 to $4 million. When the vetoed budget went before the Albuquerque City Council, for the first time in eight years, the Council, to the chagrin of Pat Davis, overrode the veto. Voting to override the Berry veto were Democrat Councilors Isaac Benton, Ken Sanchez, Klarissa Peña, Diane Gibson and Republicans Dan Lewis and Don Harris. Voting against the veto were Democrat Pat Davis and his Republican buddies Brad Winter and Trudy Jones. A despondent Pat Davis, as if channeling Republican Mayor Berry, said of the override “I can’t in good conscience see how this council could vote to override when it would put us on a credit watch”. Councilor Benton correctly pointed out that the city council can amend the budget anytime it wants if there is in fact a problem.

CONCLUSION

As City Councilor Pat Davis campaigns for the US Congress as a progressive Democrat, talks like a progressive Democrat, he needs to be asked by Democratic Party voters if once elected to the US Congress will he vote and act like a Republican as he has done so many times during his very short tenure on the Albuquerque City Council.

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About

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.