Brandenburg’s Farewell Kiss Goodbye to APD and Gordon Eden

Outgoing Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg in a scathing letter to US Attorney Damon Martinez and Independent Federal Monitor James Ginger blasted the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) accusing it of cover-ups and referring to APD as “a criminal enterprise and/or engaged in the act of racketeering”.

In her letter, Brandenburg noted APD’s ongoing problems with Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree and its refusal to fully cooperate with the DOJ, the allegations that APD has altered lapel camera evidence in police shooting cases, problems with the crime lab, and APD’s refusal to cooperate with hundreds investigations by civilian oversight groups.

(For full story see January 11, 2017 Albuquerque Journal “Outgoing DA blasts APD; Kari Brandenburg slams Police Department in letter”, page A-1)

Not surprisingly, APD Chief Gordon Eden used his rank and file police officers as human shields from the criticism saying “I take strong exception to the baseless allegations the former district attorney made against the dedicated men and woman of the department …”

Virtually all of Brandenburg’s criticism was directed at APD’s command staff and not police officers in the street.


Brandenburg’s criticism was not at all baseless and no one should belief Gordon Eden’s political spin.

APD has a history of trying to discredit elected officials, the most recent case being none other than former District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and her office were removed from the prosecution of former APD Police Officer Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy and a special prosecutor had to be appointed.

At the time of her removal from the prosecution of the case, APD revived a very weak investigation and charge of Brandenburg that went nowhere for alleged witness tampering in a criminal case involving her son and made sure it was forwarded to the Attorney General.

Brandenburg accused APD of retaliating against her for bringing charges against the officers.

Albuquerque’s Chief Administration Officer Rob Perry, no doubt with the blessings of Chief Gordon Eden, wrote Brandenburg alleging that she and members of her office had engaged in unethical conduct in reviewing the Perez/Sandy case for prosecution in an obvious attempt to have her office removed from prosecuting the case and to aid the defense.

The New Mexico Attorney General reviewed the APD criminal investigation of Brandenburg, found no criminal conduct by her and issued an opinion that APD’s investigation of the Brandenburg was politically motivated.

The attorney general also issued an opinion that there was “an appearance of impropriety” by Brandenburg when witnesses in her son’s case contacted her about making restitution for her son.

Brandenburg and her office were removed from the Perez/Sandy prosecution because of allegations of conflict of interest made by the defense against her and related publicity.

Ultimately, the first trial of Perez/Sandy ended with a hung jury voting 6 to 3 to find not guilty with the charges against Perez later dismissed by the special prosecutor.


All elected District Attorneys must be 100% committed to civilian oversight of police, and recognize that police are not above the law and must be held to a higher standard in order to protect our constitutional rights.

The public should not tolerate even a hint of police intimidation against any prosecuting agency or any court when police perceive they are not getting their way or what they want.

Under no circumstances should the public tolerate law enforcement actions and investigations by police that are politically motivated.

In Bernalillo County, the District Attorney is part of the multi-jurisdiction task force that investigates officer-involved shootings.

An issue that hovers over the Albuquerque Police Department like a black cloud and that demands civilian oversight is the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree and implementation of agreed to reforms.

The consent decree mandates that APD participate in the “multi-jurisdiction” task force that investigates the shootings.

My hope is that the new Bernalillo County District Attorney is 100% committed to the DOJ reforms to civilian oversight of APD.

A District Attorney must be prepared to resist all outside political influences when it comes to investigating police officers for misconduct and violation of constitutional rights.


Chief Gordon Eden’s reaction to Brandenburg’s farewell kiss was to be expected.

You can also expect that APD’s command staff will now treat our new District Attorney the same way or try to discredit him also if he does not toe the line or if he demands full accountability from APD or civilian oversight of APD.

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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.