On August 8, 2018, it was reported by long-time political blogger Joe Monahan on his political blog “New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan” that high profile Democratic political consultant Alan Packman had been hired by Mayor Tim Keller. The city confirmed Packman would be working in the Department of Technology and Innovation which oversees the 311 citizens call center. 311 is the centralized call center for all non-emergency inquiries and services. Packman’s official title is listed as “Integration Specialist” and when hired he was paid a salary of $75,000. City records now reflect that as of August 27, 2020, Mr. Packman is being paid $80,329.
On an election evening coverage program on November 3, 2019 with Joe Monahan who was covering election results, Mayor Tim Keller called in and announced that he is running for a second term as Mayor in 2021. Keller went so far as to say “you can say you heard it here first [that I’m running]. Keller’s statement on the public radio station was taken literally by many city hall observers’ and the general public listening as Keller’s “declaration of candidacy” for his reelection bid in 2021.
This blog article is an in depth report on Mayor Keller’s hiring of Alan Packman and to call for a Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices to investigate if city personnel and resources are being used for Mayor Tim Keller’s announced second term bid and for his personal use in violation of the city’s personnel rules and regulation and the city charter.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The below postscript to this blog article provides the provisions of the City Charter and City Personnel Rules and Regulations reviewed and relied upon for this blog article.
PACKMAN’S BIOGRAPPHY AND PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Alan Packman is a 2003 graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC, graduating with a BA in Political Science & BA in History. From 2003-2009, he worked for LSG Strategies in Washington, DC as Chief of Operations where he supervised the day-to-day operations of firm. LSG’s focus is interactive communications, grassroots field organizing and campaign strategy.
From 2010 to 2012, he worked for Strategic Management in Albuquerque, managing marketing strategy, press relations, media communications and budgets for advocacy organizations, nonprofit organizations, festivals and electoral campaigns. He lists his experience to include “10 years of strategic and project management experience with marketing, issue advocacy and electoral campaigns focused on creating & executing project plans & budgets. Six years of large-scale event production, marketing and advance experience.”
PACKMAN THE NEW MEXICO POLITICAL CONSULTANT
Alan Packman was the main principal in at least two political consulting firms in New Mexico. One was known as “Full Arsenal” and the other “Rio Strategies”.
Packman has been involved in a number of statewide campaigns for public office in New Mexico. He was the campaign manager for the 2010 U.S. House campaign of former Albuquerque Democrat Mayor Marty Chavez. Packman also worked as the campaign manager for Democrat Tim Keller’s 2014 campaign for New Mexico State Auditor. In 2014, Packman managed Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s unsuccessful campaign for New Mexico Secretary of State.
Alan Packman has also played a significant role in the careers of progressive Democratic candidates in the 40 to 45+ age group crowd. Rio Strategies and Packman were known to charge clients as much as $10,000 a month for consulting services. Mr. Packman has also been known to speak and make presentations at “Progress Now” forums in breakout sessions with hundreds in attendance to teach progressive candidates how to run for office.
The political campaigns Packman worked on as a political consultant and managed directly through his consulting firms have been Raul Torrez for Bernalillo County District Attorney, Jeff Apodaca for Governor, Garrett Vene Klausen for Land Commissioner, Pat Davis for City Council and United States Congress and Roman Montoya for Bernalillo County Clerk to mention a few. Packman also worked for Senator Martin Heinrich’s campaigns at times. In the interest of full disclosure, in 2013 Mr. Packman was employed by the Pete Dinelli for Mayor campaign at which time he was paid a nominal monthly salary of approximately $1,000 to $1,250 per month for 8 months and Packman was employed at the same time as a political consultant for Tim Keller and Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
PACKMAN AND NEW MEXICO STATE AUDITOR TIM KELLER
Alan Packman has always played a significant role in the political career of Tim Keller. Packman’s political consulting firm’s managed Tim Keller’s campaign for New Mexico State Auditor.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State, Mr. Packman’s consulting firms were paid lucrative consulting fees in the thousands of dollars by Tim Keller while he was New Mexico State Auditor.
According to the New Mexico Secretary of State First Biannual “Report of Expenditures and Contributions” filed on April 11, 2016, New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller had $37,755 total monetary in contributions and had total expenditures of $27,081.10 for the reporting period and paid $22,944.57 to Packman’s firm listed as “Full Arsenal” for “consulting”.
According to the Second Biannial “Report of Expenditures and Contributions” filed on October 11, 2016 for the reporting period, Mr. Keller had $14,900 total monetary contributions with total expenditure of $25,414.00 and paid $14,018.63 to Packman’s firm “Rio Strategies”.
State Auditor Keller never disclosed why he needed professional “consulting” services as the New Mexico State Auditor and what work those firms did for the State of New Mexico. Tim Keller has never disclosed if “Full Arsenal” and “Rio Strategies” worked or were paid to do work on Keller’s campaign for Mayor of Albuquerque the year before Tim Keller announced he was running for Mayor nor what was the “consulting” and services performed for Keller by Packman’s Full Arsenal and Rio Strategies.
PACKMAN AND MAYORAL CANDIDATE TIM KELLER
When Keller ran for Mayor, Alan Packman was front and center and paid very well for consulting services to get Keller on the ballot and to collect 3,000 qualifying $5.00 donations for public financing.
According to the July 14, 2017 Tim Keller Campaign Finance Report, on April 3, 2017 the Keller campaign was given $342,952 by the City of Albuquerque in public finance and paid to the campaign by the Albuquerque City Clerk. The July 14, 2017 Keller Campaign Finance Report for Mayor listed total of $130,863.63 of which the following amounts were paid to Packman’s “Rio Strategies” for consulting and staff salaries and campaign management.
Following is a breakdown of finances paid to Rio Strategies:
April 17, 2017, “CONSULTING” $42,110.31
April 17, 2017, “STAFF SALARY FOR JAN-MARCH $10,471.72
May 10, 2017, “STAFF SALARIES AND CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT” $20,784,24
June 6, 2017, “STAFF SALARIES AND CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT” $14,410,14
July 11, 2107 “STAFF SALARIES AND CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT” $14,201.60
TOTAL PAID TO “RIO STRATEGIES” IN 3 Month Period: $101,978.01
The August 11, 2017 Keller for Mayor Campaign Finance report reflects that $5,216.21 was spent during the last reporting period which includes $3,115 paid to Rio Strategies for the printing of 2,000 yard signs.
PACKMAN’S PAY FROM KELLER’S 2017 $1.3 MILLION RACE FOR MAYOR
According to the city’s 2017 campaign finance reports, Tim Keller was given a total of $506,254 in public finance combined for the first election and the runoff and he also collected $37,870 in “in kind” service donations. The City’s Ethics Board found that $30,000 of the $37,870 “in kind” service donations were in fact cash donations made to the Keller campaign.
Of the total $506,254 in public finance, upwards of 20% of the public finance went to pay Alan Packman and Rio Strategies or at least $105,093 total.
Notwithstanding being a public finance candidate, Keller had three (3) measured finance committees that either raised money directly to spend on his behalf or that indirectly spent money and supported him financially.
ABQ Forward Together is the measured finance committee that was formed specifically to raise money to promote Tim Keller for Mayor. It was managed by Tim Keller’s former campaign manager Neri Olguin for his State Senate race. Neri Olguin is familiar to and known by Alan Packman. ABQ Forward Together raised $663,000, with major contributions from organized labor including city unions such as AFSME.
The measured finance committee ABQFIREPAC, organized by the City’s local Fire Union raised $67,000 with that money spent to help not only Keller but also Democrat City Council candidates. ABQFIREPAC spent at least $25,000 for a TV commercial benefiting Keller, yards signs and a freeway billboard.
The measured finance committee ABQ Working Families also supported Tim Keller and raised $122,000 and its Executive Director is Eric Greigo who has strong ties and friendships with Tim Keller and ostensibly Alan Packman.
Broken down, at least $1,169,254 minimum was spent on Tim Keller’s campaign for Mayor in 2017 ($506,254 public finance money + $663,000 ABQ Forward = $1,169,254 total). Broken down further, a maximum of $1,358,254 was potentially spent on Tim Keller’s campaign for Mayor ($506,254 public finance money + $663,000 ABQ Forward + $67,000 ABQFIREPAC + $122,000 ABQ Working Families = $1,358,254.)
A link to a related 2017 blog article is here:
PACKMAN’S PAST CAMPAIGN FUND RAISING FOR KELLER INVESTIGATED
Keller, Packman and his Rio Strategies firm came under fire during Keller’s mayoral campaign over financial improprieties. According to a complaint filed with the City’s Ethics Board, Packman solicited $30,000 in cash donations but listed them as “in-kind” services to the Keller for Mayor campaign. The city ethics board ruled the Keller campaign had violated the ethics code, but Keller did not mean to, and did not fine nor reprimand him.
Packman’s star was diminished significantly after he ran into the ethics buzzsaw and he closed his political consulting firm.
Links to the news coverage can be found here:
CITY’S RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS
Tim Keller was sworn in as Mayor on December 1, 2017. According to city hall personnel records, Alan Packman started to work for the city on August 6, 2018, a eight months after Tim Keller was sworn in as Mayor. Alan Packman remains at city hall to the present.
PACKMAN HAS NO JOB DESCRIPTION
An Inspection of Public Records request (IPRA) was made asking for “Previous and present Job Titles with city, with Job Description containing job duties and responsibilities, minimum qualification and qualifications, education requirements and certificates.”
The City Clerk’s office response to the IPRA request was as follows:
“Mr. Packman’s job title is Constituent Services Integration Specialist. Mr. Packman’s position is unclassified. As a result, there is no record which lists job duties and responsibilities, minimum qualification and qualifications, education requirements and certificates. His role, however, is to coordinate outreach and marketing activities with the City’s departments and communications staff. … Mr. Packman works within the Department of Technology and Innovation. Mr. Packman’s immediate supervisor is Mark Leech, the Deputy Director of Technology and Innovation. [Mr. Packman] does not manage any employees.”
The fact that Mr. Packman’s position is “unclassified” means that he is an “at-will employee.” Packman can be terminated without any cause, anytime and anywhere by Mayor Tim Keller even if Keller is dressed “incognito” wearing a cap and sunglasses and sitting on park bench as he did recently with former APD Chief Michael Geier giving him the choice of retiring or being fired. Although Packman has an immediate supervisor Mark Leech at city hall, confidential sources at city hall say that Packman reports directly to Mayor Keller, either by phone or in person, and that Packman’s supervisor signs off an his bi weekly hours worked and approves Mr. Packman’s annual and sick leave pay.
PACKMAN’S “UNCLASSIFIED” CITY EMPLOYEE PAY
A request for inspection of public records asked for CITY JOB INFORMATION and asked for “Hours of employment” for Mr. Packman. The City Clerk’s response was “Mr. Packman is a salaried employee.”, yet no salary amount was given,
According to the city’s web pay rate report for ungraded employee, Alan Packman is paid $38.62 an hour by the city which translates into $80,329.60 a year in pay ($38.62 hourly X 2080 working hours a year =$80,329.60).
According city personnel records provided, from February 14, 2019 to August 14, 2020 Mr. Packman has taken 145 hours of vacation leave and paid $5,599.90 for that leave (145 vacation hours X $38.62 = $5,599.90). Since August 14, sources believe Mr. Packman has taken additional vacation time and the city records provided have not been updated.
No records were provided by the city as to the amount of sick leave Mr. Packman has taken and been paid. In response to the request for inspection of records, the city clerk’s office stated “the personnel records of the employees which pertain to illness, injury, disability, inability to perform a job task, and sick leave shall be considered confidential under the statute and not subject to release to the public, except, of course, by the consent or waiver of the particular employee.”
In addition to his yearly pay, Mr. Packman, the city makes contributions to his Public Employee Retirement Association Account (PERA). All benefits paid by the city add up to approximately 10% to 15% more to Mr. Packman’s base pay. Mr. Packman will be vested and be eligible for a PERA pension after 5 years of full time employment with the city, county or state. Upon leaving the city, Mr. Packman will have the option of withdrawing all of his PERA contributions if he decides he does not want a pension, but the city contributions remain with PERA and are separate.
PACKMAN’S CELL PHONE RECORDS REVIEWED
The city has provided Mr. Packman with a cell phone that allows him to make local and national cell phone calls at his discretion and the city pays the monthly bill. Monthly cell phone billings provided in response to a request for public records reflect that the city pays upwards of $56.50 per month for phone service for Mr. Packman. Twenty 27 Verizon cell phone records provided by the City Clerk’s office reflect the city has paid a total $1,637.61 up and until release of cellphone records on October 5, 2020.
A trace made of at least 13 out of state phone numbers revealed a significant number of conference calls to those numbers on Zoom ranging from 30 to 60 minutes with municipalities and corvid related information sources. The remaining cell phone numbers were local and in state numbers and too numerous to identify with any certainty if they were work related.
PACKMAN’S OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
City records provided by the City Clerk’s Office reflect that Alan Packman received permission for outside employment once from his assigned Department Director, the Risk Management Director, the Human Resources Director and Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair.
Mr. Packman was given permission to work 10 hours in outside employment for the “SOMOS ABQ” festival event held on September 28, 2019. The SOMOS festival is a highly popular one day event held in celebration of Albuquerque with arts, live bands, and other entertainment events and food. In the past, SOMOS has attracted crowds of up to 20,000 to 25,000 people. The event is open to the public and entrance fees charged have been anywhere from $39.99 and upwards of $299 for ticket packages. In the past the SOMOS event has been held on civic plaza and at Balloon Fiesta Park.
According to the “Request for Permission To Engage In Outside Employment” provided to the City, Mr. Packman provided “logistics support” on September 28, 2019 for the one-day Somos Festival. According to the authorization, no real physical demands or job hazards were involved.
Personnel records provided pursuant to an inspection of public records reflect that Mr. Packman did not take any vacation time off on September 28, 2019. This means that Packman was likely paid by both the City and the SOMOS Festival for the same time period worked. Mr. Packman’s pay rate with the city is $38.62 per hour and 10 hours of work with the city would be $386.20. There is no disclosure as to what Alan Packman was paid for his “logistic support” for SOMOS, if anything was paid.
NO OTHER RECORDS PROVIDED:
Under the caption of “City Expenses” the following requests for documents were made followed by the with the “city clerk’s responses”:
Copies of city vehicle use authorizations for Alan Packman, year, model and mileage of vehicle and vehicle mileage.
[City clerk’s response] No responsive records.
Copies of “P-Card” expenditures or credit card charges for City of Albuquerque and purchase made by or on behalf of and for the city or for use by Alan Packman.
[City clerk’s response] Mr. Packman does not have a Pcard but see the attached receipts.
E-Mail Copies of two receipts were provided and they are:
July 13, 2020 Invoice from AMAZON in the amount of $65.98 for the purchase of a webcam with microphone for a fusion web camera for a 1080 P computer to be used for ZOOM video conferences, and one YOU Tube, Recording , Skyp and streaming computer camera with extended view for a PC Desktop computer.
January 22, 2020 Walmart receipt in the total amount of $18.50 for the purchase of a floor lamp.
Copies of any personal service contracts, goods and service contracts, signed by Alan Packman for and behalf of the city or the Mayor.
[City clerk’s response] There are no responsive records to this aspect of your request.
Inventory of city issued equipment to employee including, but not limited to, cell phones, cars, contracts for service and training.
[City clerk’s response] No responsive records.
SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES
Ever since Mayor Tim Keller assumed office on December 1, 2017, he has taken political showmanship to all new levels. Keller is known for his photo ops and press conferences, attending protest rallies to speak at, attending marches, attending heavy metal concerts to introduce the band, running in track meets and participating in exhibition football games as the quarterback and enjoying reliving his high school glory days.
It is important to note that it was reported that APD Spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos sent out a TWEET he had written on behalf of the APD Chief Geier, a TWEET that Geier later denied he authorized and Gallegos was force to apologized. This is important to remember given Mayor Keller’s extensive social media presence.
Tim Keller has two FACEBOOK accounts, one personal and one official as Mayor. Keller posts pictures, press conferences and “fluff” videos on FACEBOOK page Keller also maintains a TWITTER account. It is unknown if Mr. Packman or any other city personnel resources, such as the Mayor’s spokesperson or personal aide or office worker, are maintaining the FACEBOOK and TWITTER accounts for Tim Keller and posting on his behalf.
CITY’S 311 CITIZEN’S CONTACT CENTER INCLUDED IN KELLER’S PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITIES
The city’s 311 call center employs upwards of 30 telephone operators. Virtually all of the thousands of calls made to the 311 calls each year to the call center are logged in one form or another. Each and every one of the 311 calls that involve a city complaint, the 311 call operators prepare a “work order” with a work order number assigned. The work order is sent to the various departments to respond to on behalf of the city. Follow up emails are then sent to callers confirming the status of the complaints.
Keller increased his public relations activities once the corona virus hit hard in February of this year. Keller held daily news conferences as if competing with the Governor’s daily press conferences. Keller has also taken his public relations to another level by holding regular telephone “town hall meetings”.
Keller’s “town hall” meetings are especially effective for his public relations given the sure magnitude of the calls made and the number of times the townhall meetings have been conduct. The townhall meetings consist of calling upwards of 13,000 people at one time. Confidential sources are saying calls are being made to those who have called 311 where a work invoice has been generated and that 311 city resources are used to compile call lists.
When “town hall” phone meetings are to be held, initial calls are made with a recording of Keller announcing the date and time of the town hall meeting. The phone call conference calls last up to a full hour. Alan Packman has acted as the moderator or announcer of the telephone town hall meetings and he screen’s all incoming calls and questions for Mayor Keller to answer. Further, Department Directors and other City employee participate in the town hall meetings to help respond to question and discuss city efforts to deal with the pandemic
It is more likely than not that all of Mayor Tim Keller’s public relations efforts have in fact payed off for him. He has been able to maintain a high approval rating essentially identical the percentage of the vote he received when he ran for Mayor in 2017 portraying himself in a positive manner devoid of any controversial stories.
KELLER’S USE OF CAMPAIGN LOGO FOR SELF AND CITY PROMOTION
Since being elected in November 2017, Mayor Tim Keller has implemented a public relations and marketing campaign to re-brand the city image with his “One ABQ” initiatives and with his new logo and the street slang nickname for the city. Keller came up with a strained logo that rearranges the letters in the city’s name to reflect the street slang name “BURQUE” in red letters with t-shirts and created a web page with slick videos promoting the city. The attempt to re brand and change the promotional name of “Duke City” to “BURQUE” is no doubt considered a smart political promotional advertising move by Mayor Tim Keller and his political consultant Packman, now city employee, to appeal to younger people.
What the news media has ignored or is not aware of and what the public may have not noticed, is that Mayor Tim Keller and his handlers have the city using his 2017 Mayoral campaign logo and colors with his name and the outline of the city backdrop in a circle with his “rust brown” color scheme backdrops on city literature and most city promotional materials. Keller’s campaign logo is replacing the city’s official seal or logo at his press conferences and on podiums he speaks from behind. This should sound very familiar. It was done before by Mayor Martin Chavez. City construction billboards used Mayor Chavez’s mayoral campaign reelection city photos with purple color hues as a backdrop in his last city election running for Mayor.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Normally, it is not a big deal that any former campaign worker wants to go to work for a successful candidate whose candidacy they supported. When it comes to city hall, it is common knowledge that key supporters or prominent campaign workers are hired for high management or mid management levels positions that already exist, such as Chief of Staff or as a City Department Directors or Division Directors and paid $95,000 to $110,000 a year. Virtually all Mayors have done it in one form or another to varying degrees.
What is a major difference with the employment of Alan Packman for the city is that he is a professional political campaign consultant and campaign manager who has worked for Tim Keller in the past to get Keller elected. Working for the 311 citizens contact center means Packman is allowed access to private citizens cell phone numbers, land line phone numbers, addresses and email address to those who have contacted the 311-call center. These are members of the public and voters who never intended or did not authorize that they be contacted for unrelated matters to their original contact with 311. The question that must be raised is to what extent and to what purpose Packman has had access to the 311 citizen’s contact information?
PACKMAN’S PAST AND PRESENT WORK FOR KELLER
In 2017, Democrat Tim Keller was elected Mayor in a runoff with a 62.2% vote against Republican Dan Lewis at 37.8%. Mayor Keller made it known election night in November 2019 that he intends to run for a second 4-year term in 2021. On Sunday, September 13, 2020, the Albuquerque Journal reported that its poll revealed that Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has a 60% approval rating close to 3 years into his term. Such an approval makes Keller the automatic front runner as he seeks a second term. Keller’s public relations has helped to keep his approval rating high with the public
When then State Auditor Tim Keller was running for Mayor in 2017, he was swept into office riding on a wave of popularity he orchestrated as State Auditor for a mere 1 year and six months of his 4-year term in office combating “waste, fraud and abuse” in government and promising “transparency”. When it comes to the work of Alan Packman for Keller, there never has been transparency.
Ostensibly, Keller crafted his “white knight” image as NM State Auditor with the help of his longtime political consultant Alan Packman. NM State Auditor Tim Keller paid literally thousands for “consulting services” to Packman out of the Keller campaign funds raised for his State Auditor race. Mayor Tim Keller has now brought Alan Packman into city hall working for the city’s 311 call center and is paying him over $80,000 a year and once again, there is no real transparency as to Packman’s job duties and work being performed at taxpayer expense.
The fact that there is no job description for Alan Packman that lists his job duties, responsibilities, minimum qualifications, education requirements or certificates is a “red flag” that a high paying job was created out of whole cloth by Tim Keller to give his long time paid political consultant a job. The position was never advertised. When it comes to Alan Packman, the professional political consultant, and his job in the Department of Technology and Innovation dealing with “constituent services”, Keller and Packman have created the appearance of impropriety, whether true or false, that Packman is working on behalf of Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election campaign.
Packman’s assignment to the 311-call center and his work on Keller’s city-wide town hall phone conferences calling upwards of 13,000 people requires the use of city hall resources and personnel is very problematic and disturbing. There is no need for telephone town hall meetings given the fact that number of press conferences Keller already does on a daily basis. Once again, Keller has created the appearance of impropriety, whether true or false, that Packman is working on behalf of Mayor Tim Keller’s reelection bid and using city 311 resources. There is little doubt that whatever personal information of those who call into 311 can be misused in the future as Keller seeks a second term.
The attempts by Mayor Keller to re-brand the city image with his own campaign logo and colors scheme is nothing less than Keller using city resources and personnel to increase his name identification and promote Tim Keller. Now that Keller is running for second term, it is more likely than not that Keller intends to use his “One Albuquerque” theme and the rebranding of the city as “Burque” incorporating them into his reelection materials, themes and campaign slogans.
The City Attorney or the City’s Human Resources Department needs to demand and require in no uncertain terms that political consultant, and now city employee, Alan Packman be required to sign a binding “non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement” that prohibits him from duplicating or copying for his use or Keller’s use in his re election bid, any and all telephone log lists compiled with 311 resources, and any other city resources materials now and in the future for a political campaign. The execution of such a document would be a condition of continued employment for Mr. Packman. Such an agreements have been mandated in the past of city employees. Such an agreement is necessary and required now based on Keller’s and Packman’s past history of nefarious campaign fund raising and campaign finance violations.
Further, the Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices should initiate on its own an investigation to what extent, if any, city employee Alan Packman has been working on or preparing Mayor Keller’s re-election campaign and issue a report on its findings. To that end, it would be appropriate for the City’s Internal Audit Department or the City’s Personnel Department to conduct a “desk job audit” of the work being performed by Mr. Packman and to determine what extent, if any, Mr. Packman may be involved in Mayor Keller’s 2021 reelection campaign. Most importantly a verification that no city resources nor personnel are being used for political purposes to promote Tim Keller for a second term is needed.
Declared candidate for reelection Tim Keller and his political consultant and city employee Alan Packman would be wise to read and fully understand the election code, especially the provisions that prohibit the use of city personnel and city resources for political campaigns. Both Keller and Packman should do so before a member of the general public complains and before they are both accused of once again of nefarious campaign practices as they were accused of in 2017 with solicitation of cash donations and reporting the cash donations as “in kind” donations. If Allen Packman is indeed working on Mayor Keller’s campaign for re election during city office hours, he needs to resign immediately from city employment or take a leave of absence until the election is over.
Following are the provision of the City Charter and City Personnel Regulations review and relied upon for this blog article:
Personnel rules and regulations mandate that all city employees must request and secure permission to work and be paid for outside employment. Rule 310 of the City’s personnel Rules and Regulations are clear and provide:
EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE THE CITY SERVICE. All employees must obtain the written permission of the department director and concurrence of the Human Resources Director allowing them to engage in outside employment.
The link to the city’s personnel rules and regulations governing is Conditions of Employment are here:
CITY’S PERSONNEL RULES AND REGULATIONS PROHIBITS POLITCAL ACTIVITIES
Rule 311.3 of the City’s personnel rules and regulation covering all city employees provides in part:
“Political Activities. No person shall engage in political activity that diminishes the integrity, efficiency or discipline of the City service. No employee will participate in the following types of activity:
A. Use of one’s position or status to influence the support of other officials or employees of the City for or against any candidate or issue in any election or use of political activity to influence the employee’s position or status within City government; … . “
The link to the city’s personnel rules and regulations governing is Conditions of Employment are here:
CITY CHARTER PROVISIONS PROHBITING USE OF CITY PROPERTY AND PERSONNEL AND PENALTIES
Article XII, Sections 6 and 7 of the Albuquerque City Charter is very specific on the prohibition of city elected officials use of public property for political purposes and the misuse of city employees in campaigns. Article XII, Section 8 also provides for penalties.
Article XII, Sections 6, USE OF PUBLIC PROPERTY, states:
No official of the city shall use property, owned by any governmental body or funds of any governmental body, for personal benefit, convenience or profit, except in accordance with policies promulgated by the Council. This prohibition includes the use of city property or funds to advertise or promote the campaign of any official, except as provided in this section. …
No campaign activities shall be conducted in those portions of city facilities that are dedicated as work areas for city employees. Officials are prohibited from using any method of communication paid for with city resources, including but not limited to public service announcements, signage, official websites or mail during the three months prior to their election date, if such advertising states or implies personal responsibility of the official for any city accomplishment.
Officials are prohibited from using any method of communication paid for with city resources, including but not limited to public service announcements, signage, official websites or mail if such communication is in a form that would be reasonably mistaken for the campaign materials of the official because of the similarity of design, content or graphics being used in the campaign.
(Am. Ord. 34-2006)
Article XII, Sections 7, MISUSE OF CITY EMPLOYEES IN CAMPAIGNS states
No official shall participate in the following types of political activity:
(A) Using his or her position or employment with the city to influence support of employees of the city for or against any candidate, issue or Measure Finance Committee or other similar organization in any election or pre-election activity; provided, however, that nothing herein shall deny the right of an official of the city to express his or her views on any issue.
(B) … ,(C) … ,(D)…, (E) … .
Article XII Section 8. ENFORCEMENT; VIOLATION; PENALTY; AUTOMATIC FINES; REMOVAL FROM OFFICE; APPEAL provides:
“(a) Any charge of violations of this Code of Ethics shall be brought before the City Clerk. Any private citizen may initiate such a charge in accordance with regulations established by the City Clerk.
(b) … .
(c) … .
(d) In addition to imposing such sanctions, or as an alternative thereto, the Board may recommend to the Council that an appointed or employed official be suspended or removed from office or that an elected official be removed from office.
(e) The Council may, upon the recommendation of the Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices, and after due hearing of the charge, order the suspension or removal of an appointed or employed official, or the removal of an elected official; provided, however, that no official shall be removed or suspended except upon the concurrence of two-thirds of the Councilors qualified to vote thereon.
(f) … .”
THE BOARD OF ETHICS AND CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
The Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices was created by Charter Article XII, the Code of Ethics. The Board of Ethics is a board of limited jurisdiction for election-related matters and violations of the Code of Ethics.
The Board may conduct investigations regarding possible violations of the Election Code, the Open and Ethical Elections Code and the Code of Ethics. The Board also may issue advisory opinions at the request of City Officials and Candidates.
The Board has issued Rules and Regulations to assist in the administration, conduct, interpretation and enforcement of the Code of Ethics and the Elections Code. The rules and regulations were updated and adopted on February 28, 2020, and signed off on by Andrew Schultz, Chair, Board of Ethics Campaign Practices and Ethan Watson the Acting City Clerk.
The Rules & Regulations of the Board of Ethics & Campaign Practices has a provision for the board on its own to initiate and investigation and charges. Section 4 of the Rules & Regulations of the Board of Ethics & Campaign Practices provides:
“Notwithstanding any other provision in this Section, the Board may, on its own initiative, initiate a charge or charges that a Candidate or the chair of a Measure Finance Committee or any other group has committed a violation of the Codes or of these Rules and Regulations.”
The link to the Rules & Regulations of the Board of Ethics & Campaign Practices is here: