ABQ Reports: “APD’S BLUE WALL OF COWARDICE”; “APD CONTINUES TO CRUMBLE AROUND AN INEPT MAYOR”

On Tuesday, August 18, the following article written by Dan Klein, and on Monday, August 17, the following articles published by ABQ Report. Both articles are related and address the ongoing controversy within APD regarding the goings on within the offices of APD Chief Michael Geier and the internal affairs investigation of APD Chief of Staff John Ross.

APD’S BLUE WALL OF COWARDICE
August 18, 2020|

Dan Klein

“– He-men cops fail to aid a secretary.

— Female APD secretary has more courage and integrity than the entire APD command staff.

— I don’t think anyone carrying a gun and badge in APD’s chief’s office has the courage to put the city and the department ahead of their personal aspirations.

— There is a blue wall of cowards on APD’s 5th floor. They will enforce rules on everyone below them, but when it comes to their peers they cower, bicker and hide.

If Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier’s memo regarding John Ross is accurate, the only person in the chief’s office, with the courage to protect the city taxpayers and APD integrity, is civilian Paulette Diaz.

The link to the 7 page memo to APD Chief Geier from Administrative Support Coordinator Paulette R. Diazentire is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_8LDr0kQpz9z1PLLlUhOPlaGdde3wtiW/view

The link to Chief Geier’s 4 page memo to APD Internal Affairs is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VOAIh-EpZz8-PH-P83C8TQJ66dsM0ffw/view

The memo documents the blatant bullying of a civilian employee and violations of APD policy by Chief of Staff John Ross, yet the only person to speak up is a civilian. Where were all the deputy chiefs and the assistant chief of staff? Certainly, they witnessed or were aware of what was going on? Why didn’t they intervene? Cops are supposed to be courageous, but it seems that the command staff at APD has no courage to (as Geier puts it) “do the right thing.”

Deputy Harold Medina spends his days and nights worried that Ross and other deputy chiefs are making as much or more money than he does. Geier states in his memo that Medina was laser-focused on his jealousy of others in the command staff making more money than he did. That should make all of us sick to our stomachs. Maybe Medina should be this upset at the unsolved murders, Onate protest debacle and rising crime rate. If Medina went to Geier with his preoccupation jealousy of the income his peers are making, Geier should have “done the right thing” and kicked his ass out the door.

Where were the other deputy chiefs when Ross allegedly bullied Diaz into giving up Geier’s signature stamp? Geier had ordered his stamp locked up and that he was the only person allowed to access it. Both Diaz’s and Geier’s memos accuse Ross of threatening Diaz into handing over Geier’s stamp, a direct violation of Geier’s order. Were the deputy chiefs cowering in their offices? If Diaz’s memo is factual, why did Medina tell Diaz to destroy his signature stamp after Ross had taken Geier’s stamp? Why didn’t Medina stop Ross from violating a direct order from the chief of police?

What about the other deputy chiefs and the assistant chief of staff? Where were they? Don’t they take an order from Geier seriously? Or is it only a civilian, Paulette Diaz, who believes that when Geier issues an order it should be followed? Just who is in command at APD? No one it appears.

What about Geier? Reading him memo makes me ask: why is Geier not taking a forceful hand and fixing this? He says he is in charge, then goddammit be in charge! And if Geier is being blocked by CAO Sarita Nair and Mayor Keller, Geier should have the courage to go into their offices and tell them to allow him to run APD or he is retiring. It’s leadership. It’s very simple, Mike “do the right thing.”

The longer Geier stays as chief and does not take a forceful hand to fix it, the more his reputation is ruined. Please Mike, for the sake of the city and APD, go to Nair and Keller and issue an ultimatum. Either Ross is immediately put on leave pending this investigation (which is normal practice) or you will walk out and retire immediately. That’s courageous. That’s what legacy is made of.

I don’t think anyone carrying a gun and badge in APD’s chief’s office has the courage to put the city and the department ahead of their personal aspirations. The only courageous one is a civilian secretary, who was immediately transferred to Animal Control for doing the “right thing.”

There is a blue wall of cowards on APD’s 5th floor. They will enforce rules on everyone below them, but when it comes to their peers they cower, bicker and hide. And where is Mayor Keller?

https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2020/08/17/APD-continues-to-crumble-around-an-inept-mayor

CHIEF GEIER EXPLAINS JOHN ROSS PAY RAISE

In his July 20 memo sent to Internal Affairs Professional Standards, Chief Geier explains the pay to raise by saying Ross had asked for a “small bump” in pay, which Geier interpreted to mean “a few thousand dollars annually.” According to Geier:

“[Ross] thought he could be elevated to the same pay level as a Deputy Chief but I explained that would not be feasible due to our existing rank structure and our compensation and classification process. … I also told him that Deputy Chief Harold Medina was already upset that two other Deputy Chiefs were already getting paid more than him due to a longevity agreement from the last administration. [When I signed the memo, I] did not remember seeing the actual amount of the raise being listed on his memo or did not look at it with any scrutiny since I trusted John.”

Geier said he was surprised when he learned from the city’s website that Ross was making almost $140,000 a year, about $5,000 more than Deputy Chief Harold Medina. Geier wrote internal affairs:

“I sign a lot of documents and am very busy at times and it is possible I missed it. … However, I reminded him of our initial conversations about the possible implications of receiving such a large raise and the appearance of impropriety.”

Ostensibly what happened is the John Ross took the salary increase memo to CAO Sarita Nair and was given a significant pay raise at the rate of a Deputy Chief. CAO Nair appears to not have contacted Chief Geier to confirm his approval of the raise relying on the personnel documents that had Geier’s signature stamp.

APD CONTINUES TO CRUMBLE AROUND AN INEPT MAYOR; APD RUN BY CAO SARITA NAIR

August 17, 2020
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By Pete Dinelli

–The transfer of Paulette Diaz from the 5th floor Offices of APD’s Main Office as Chief Geier’s Administrative Support to the Animal Control Department smacks of political retaliation against a whistle blower.

— If Keller and Nair were directly involved and gave instructions on how they wanted APD to handle the June 15 protest, they infused politics in the management of APD.

— APD continues to crumble around an inept Mayor who has a difficult time cutting people lose because of a sense of “loyalty.”

— Mayor Tim Keller is more concerned with public relations and being well liked and lacking any real substance in reducing our high crime rates.

On Sunday, Aug. 16, the ABQReport published a column by retired APD sergeant Dan Klein that asked, “Who’s in charge at APD? It’s not Mike Geier.” Read the article here:

https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2020/08/16/Who-is-in-charge-at-APD-It-sure-isn%E2%80%99t-Mike-Geier

Dan Klein asks the very legitimate question “Who is in charge at APD?” Based on the content of the interoffice memos from Chief Geier’s Administrative Support Coordinator Paulette R. Diaz and APD Chief Michael Geier, it would appear that person is Keller’s political operative and Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair. Diaz makes references of interference from the Mayor’s Office and CAO Sarita Nair, saying Chief Geier has been given conflicting directives about how to address the issues with Chief of Staff John Ross and Diaz wrote:

“Those directives do not support you [Chief Geier] running this department and the Mayor’s office should not be entertaining private discussions with John, or even [Deputy Chief of Police] Medina for that matter, that run contrary to adherence to the chain of command or are done for their own personal reasons.”

The statement made by Diaz is clear proof that CAO Nair, and ostensibly, the Mayor are getting involved into the minutia of enforcing personnel rules and regulations which is very troubling. The transfer of Paulette Diaz from the 5th floor Offices of APD’s Main Office as Chief Geier’s Administrative Support to the Animal Control Department smacks of political retaliation against a whistle blower.

The Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair does have authority under the City Charter the duty and responsibility to enforce the city’s personnel rules and regulations. The facts that Geier and CAO Sarita Nair have not placed Ross on Administrative Leave without pay until the Internal Affairs investigation is completed, have not ordered Ross to return the $2,400 laptop, nor have they rescinded the $10,000 pay raise are clear indications they intend to do absolutely nothing. What is even more troubling is that it was Paulette R. Diaz, who likely falls under the legal definition of a whistle blower, has been transferred to a completely different department, the Animal Welfare Department.

Chief Geier has over 40 years of experience in law enforcement and is a former Rio Rancho Police Chief, he should know what he is doing when managing the Department, but it’s obvious his loyalty to a subordinate is more important to him. Ultimately, its Chief Geier that needs to be held accountable for the mismanagement of the department. Preferential treatment and a sense of entitlement sends the wrong message to APD’s chain of command and in turn the rank and file of the department.

City Hall confidential sources report that Mayor Tim Keller was in constant contact with CAO Sarita Nair during the June 15 Onate Statue Protest at the Albuquerque Museum where a person was shot and that they gave Chief Geier or his Deputy Chief Harold Medina instructions on how they wanted the protest to be handled and how city property was to be protected. Neither Nair nor Keller have prior management experience with any law enforcement department and have no experience with tactical plans nor how they are implemented. If Keller and Nair were directly involved and gave instructions on how they wanted APD to handle the June 15 protest, they infused politics in the management of APD.

APD continues to crumble around an inept Mayor who has a difficult time cutting people lose because of a sense of “loyalty.” Former Republican Mayor Richard Berry had what amounted to a blind loyalty relationship with Chief Gorden Eden and could afford to keep Eden, despite his incompetence, to the very end because Berry did not run for a 3rd term. Mayor Tim Keller on the other hand has made it known he is running for a second term in 2021 and still has over a year before the next election and anything can happen.

Things are only getting worse with Sarita Nair trying to run APD with mixed messages and politics. Mayor Tim Keller is more concerned with public relations and being well liked and lacking any real substance in reducing our high crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller needs to get a grip on the fact that its time to thank Chief Geier for his work and to find a new Chief who is willing to run a department without interference, and if that person can’t do the job, move on to someone who can.

https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2020/08/17/APD-continues-to-crumble-around-an-inept-mayor

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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.