ABQ Reports: Complaint filed against Jessica Hernandez’s law license.

January 27, 2018

Complaint filed against Jessica Hernandez’s law license.

Dennis Domrzalski

An activist who is part of the federal reform settlement agreement with the Albuquerque Police Department has filed a complaint against former City Attorney Jessica Hernandez asking that she be investigated for deceiving a federal court judge and secretly recording the independent monitor in the case.

The activist, Maria Bautista, filed the complaint against Hernandez on Friday with The Disciplinary Board of the New Mexico Supreme Court. The complaint said that “Ms. Hernandez should be investigated for violation of Rule 16-303 Candor toward the Tribunal, Rule 16-401, Truthfulness in statements to others, Rule 16-803 Reporting Professional Misconduct, Rule 16-804 Misconduct.”

The Disciplinary Board has the authority to revoke a lawyer’s license.

Bautista is active in one of the many groups that are called “amici,” or “Friend of the Court,” that have standing in federal court in the settlement agreement.

Hernandez and APD employees, including then-Assistant APD Chief Robert Huntsman, secretly recorded the independent monitor, James Ginger, at least 12 times between March of 2016 and February of 2017.

The federal court judge who is overseeing the reform case, Robert Brack, said that Huntsman’s secret recording of Ginger in March 2016 was probably a violation of the settlement agreement and an attempt to undermine Ginger and the reform effort.

Brack also said that Hernandez tried to deceive him when she filed a motion in late October of 2017 accusing Ginger of being biased against APD. Attached to that motion was a 14-minute video that Huntsman took with his department-issued lapel camera and a transcript of the video. But Brack said the transcript covered only nine minutes of the video and that Hernandez had tried to deceive him by not providing the full transcript.

On Nov. 16, 2017, Brack denied the city’s motion for an evidentiary hearing to determine if Ginger was biased against the city. He also ordered the city to turn over to him any other recordings that were made of Ginger.

On Dec. 22, 2017, Hernandez turned over audios and transcripts of 11 other recordings that she and others made of Ginger.

In a Jan 18 status conference in the reform case, Brack said he was not going to pursue sanctions against Hernandez or others for secretly recording Ginger.

“I’m letting you-all know I have no interest in looking back. My shoulder’s to the wheel and my hand is on the plow. I am looking forward with all of you and I have no intention of pursuing sanctions against the prior administration,” Brack said during the status conference, “and I certainly don’t think the successor administration has any accountability on that score.”


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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.