Transparency Does Not Mean Confidentiality

More than two weeks after a public records requests and one day after announcing the appointment of APD Chief Michael Geier, the city released the names and résumés of the 29 applicants for the position of APD Chief.

All the names and resumes can be read on the below link:


Only 29 people applied for the APD Chief position no doubt because of the short time frame to apply and set up interviews.

Of the 29 people who did apply, 24 do not currently work for APD.

In addition to Interim Chief Michael Geier applying to be permanent, local candidates included Richard Gomez, a former APD captain who retired in 2007, Phillip Hart, the chief of Gallup police, Dennis Maez, who quit APD as a sergeant before a career with the U.S. Secret Service, and Joseph Silva, a commander for University of New Mexico police.

Presumably in addition to Chief Geier, the Keller Administration identified that only 3 other candidates were interviewed in Albuquerque:

1. Keith Humphrey, the chief of police in Norman, Okla.;
2. Jeronimo Rodriguez, chief of investigations in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and a former high-ranking officer for Baltimore police; and
3. Perry Tarrant, assistant chief of police in Seattle.

Other applicants who were not interviewed included chiefs and high-ranking officials of small police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country as well as a high-ranking officer for Chicago police.


Interim Chief Michael Geier was appointed on December 1, 2017.

It was not until May 1, 2018 that the Keller Administration posted the APD Chief position, advertised and began accepting applications.

The Chief Selection Committee of 5 was appointed at the same time as the posting and tasked to review the resumes and conduct interviews with the final selection announced 6 weeks later on June 13, 2018.

The selection committee consisted of a former APD Captain, the Fraternal Order of Police President and 3 Keller Administration employees with no one from the general public nor affected groups.

The city administration also paid a private company $10,000 to assist in the recruitment, selection and interview process.

There were no representatives on the Chief’s Selection Committee from the American Civil Liberties Union, APD Forward, the District Attorney’s Office nor Public Defenders Office, nor any Hispanic, Native American or other minority groups nor communities affected by police actions and none of the stake holders in the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and no one from the Police Oversight Board nor the Community Policing Councils.

The Chief Selection Committee held what amounted to nothing more than public relations “listening sessions” with the public and stake holders, and the Community Policing Councils, with one of the committee members not even bothering to show up at the meeting with APD Forward.

A Keller administration official defended the chief selection committee process saying that it had not ever been done before, public comments were taken on line, the selection committee agreed to attend the Community Policing Councils for input and the public was allowed to directly ask questions and express their opinions to the search committee.

The Keller Administration never posted “on line” the names of the applicants to allow the public to comment on the individual applicants.

The applicants for the position were never disclosed to the public during the “listening” sessions and all the names were kept confidential by the Chief Selection Committee until after Mayor Keller made the appointment of Chief Michael Geier.


In announcing the appointment of Interim APD Chief Michael Geier as permanent, Mayor Keller had this to say:

“What would the world look like with a brand-new fresh chief? Let’s just think about that for a minute. … They’d have to get up to speed on all the DOJ reforms that have taken years to get into place. They’d have to get to know our community, one of the most diverse and unique communities in the entire country, and on top of that they’d have an urgent crime problem.”

“There was always this idea that there was some magical person who could be all things to all people and be a new police chief in Albuquerque. People would say, ‘(The police chief would) have to have done all the DOJ reforms, and they’d have to be respected by front-line officers, and they also have to be from outside Albuquerque, but they also have to know Albuquerque. … The amazing thing about that is the closest person to that is Chief Geier.”

What is truly amazing is the Mayor thinking people are going to buy into this rhetoric that only Geier was capable of taking over given the secrecy of the selection process and the shortness of time to accept applicants and do interviews.

From what I can tell, the only person that said anything about some “magical person” and being so dismissive with the use of those words is Mayor Keller and it was done apparently to garner public support of his chosen one who was always considered the front runner.

What Mayor Keller has yet to comprehend is that what all the stakeholders wanted, including the Police Oversight Commission, the Community Policing Councils, the American Civil Liberties Union, APD Forward, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, Hispanic and Native American organization or other minority groups affected by police actions, the stake holders in the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and the family’s of the victims who have died from deadly use of force by APD was a fair and open application and a selection process of a new Chief that was not rushed with enough time to find truly qualified people to take control of a department in desperate need of major change.

What all the community stakeholders in the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) were imagining and demanding is an APD fully committed to the Court Ordered Approved Settlement Agreement and a department not having a bunker mentality and committed to the motto of “serve and protect.”

Chief Michael Geier was a solid choice to be Interim Chief and he has done a commendable job of settling the department down.

But to presume Geier was the only one that was qualified and capable to take over a trouble Department is not credible.

Mayor Keller will now submit Cheif Geier to the City Council to be voted upon for approval which will no doubt be approved on a 9-0 vote.

I predict not a single question will be asked by the City Council about the selection process, why more people were not interviewed and why the application process was rushed.

The City Council will continue their pattern of failed oversight of APD.

Only time will tell if Mayor Keller has made the right decision in making Chief Geier permanent.

Chief Geier will need all the experience he has accumulated over his 40+ year career in law enforcement to rebuild and turn the department around.

When Tim Keller was running for Mayor, he repeatedly committed that his administration would be up front and transparent.

Keeping all applicant names and resumes confidential until after a person is hired for the most important appointment any Mayor can make does not speak well for a commitment to transparency.

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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.