Third Year In Row Over Half Of Top 250 City Wage Earners Sworn Police; APD Police Union Contract Violates Federal And State Labor Laws; After Over 6 Months, Special State Audit Has Not Reduced APD Overtime

For a third year in a row, over half of the top 250 wages earners at Albuquerque City Hall are APD sworn police officers in the ranks of police officer first class, senior police officer 1st class, master police officer 1st class, sergeant and lieutenant. All earn between $113,126.08 to $199,414.69 a year, all are paid hourly wages for 40-hour work week and all are paid time and a half for overtime pay. Police officers first class, senior police officers 1st class, master police officers 1st class, sergeants and lieutenant are all members of the APD police union, they are classified employees and can only be terminated for cause. The amounts paid are two and a half times and at times 3 times more than their base yearly hourly pay primarily because of overtime pay which has been the subject of abuse and scandal in the past, including time card fraud.

This blog article is a deep dive analysis of the top 250 wage earners at city hall and the extent of the wages paid to APD top personnel.


The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is the largest budget department in the city. APD’s approved general fund operating 2022 budget is upwards of $222 million, or roughly 4.5% higher than fiscal year 2021 existing levels. Ultimately, the City Council approved nearly all the APD funding the Keller Administration requested in the budget proposal submitted on April 1, 2021.

APD’s funding is for 1,100 sworn positions and 592 civilian support positions for a total of 1,692 full-time positions. It also includes funding for new positions, including 11 investigators to support internal affairs and the department’s reform obligations under the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement and two communications staffers. Notwithstanding being fully funded for 1,100 full time sworn police, APD has only 917 full time sworn officers.

On December 12, during a federal court hearing on the Department of Justice consent decree, APD reported that as of December 6, 2021 APD’s staffing levels are as follows:

Full Sworn Officer Count: 917

1 APD Chief
1 Superintendent Of Police Reform
1 Deputy Superintendent Of Police Reform
6 Deputy Chiefs
1 Chief of Staff
12 Commanders
14 Deputy Commanders
44 Lieutenants
113 Sergeants
731 Patrol Officers
2 Sworn CSA’s

The positions of 44 Lieutenants, 113 Sergeants and 731 Patrol Officers, for a total of 888 staffing are all covered by the police union contract.


On February 7, it was reported that the Mayor Tim Keller’s administration negotiated a new police union contract making APD the best paid law enforcement agency in the region by increasing hourly wages and longevity pay and creating a whole new category of “incentive pay”. Under the new contract, APD’s starting wage is well above cities and law enforcement agencies of comparable size including Tucson, Arizona, $54,517, and El Paso, Texas, $47,011. The new APD contract keeps APD starting wages slightly higher than the New Mexico State Police.

On February 9, APOA police union attorney Fred Mower told Federal Judge James Browning that the contract signed contains the identical terms and conditions of the contract that expired on June 30, 2020. According to Mower, the only terms that changed were the negotiated hourly pay for sworn police officers that are in the collective bargaining unit.

The police union contract containing the pay increases was signed on December 30, 2021. The 48-page APOA police “Collective Bargaining Agreement” (CBA) is for 1 year and 6 months period. It is effective January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

The new CBA can be down loaded as a PDF file at this link:


“Rank and File” police officers are generally recognized as sworn police officers under the rank of sergeant. These are the sworn police officers that do the heavy lifting of police work responding to 911 calls for service and who patrol the streets of the city.

Under the new police union contract, following is what rank and file sworn officers will paid:

Police Officer 1/C (first class) with 2 TO 4 YEAR SERVICE under new contract goes from $60,320 TO $68,411.20 a year.

Pay for Senior Police Officer 1/c (first class) with 5 To 14 YEAR SERVICE under new contract goes from $62,400 to $70,761 a year.

Pay for a Master Police Officer 1/c (first class) with 15 years and above of service goes FROM $65,520 TO $74,297 A YEAR.


Under the APD collective bargaining contract, the management positions of sergeants and lieutenant are allowed to join the police union in violation of state law. For that reason, the union has the authority to negotiate with the city hourly wages for sergeants and lieutenant. Following are the hourly wage increases negotiated under the new contract:


From January 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022 hourly pay for APD Sergeants under the new contract goes from $35 an hour or $72,800 a year to $37.80 an hour or $78,624 until June 30, 2022, the end of the fiscal year. Pay for APD Sergeants under the new contract then increases from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 to $39.69 an hour or $82,555.20 a year until the expiration of the union contract on June 30, 2023.


Hourly pay for Lieutenants goes under the new contract from $40 an hour or $83,200 yearly from January 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022 to $43.20 an hour or $89,866 yearly until June 30, 2022, the end of the fiscal year. From July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 Lieutenants pay under the new contract will be increased to $45.36 an hour or $94,348.60 a year until the expiration of the contract on June 30, 2023.


Under the union contract, sworn police are entitled to overtime compensation at the rate of time-and-one-half of their regular straight-time rate when they perform work in excess of forty (40) hours in any one workweek. Time worked over 40 hours per week is compensated at time and a half of the officer’s regular rate of pay, or in the form of “compensatory time.”

There is no contract provision placing a cap on the amount of overtime any officer can be paid. Compensatory time is the award of hours as already worked to be paid and is calculated at the rate of 1-1/2 times the hours actually worked. The maximum accrual of comp time for any officer is 150 hours.

During the last 10 years, the Albuquerque Police Department has consistently gone over its overtime budgets by millions. In fiscal year 2016, APD was funded for $9 million for over time but APD actually spent $13 million. A March, 2017 city internal audit of APD’s overtime spending found police officers “gaming the system” that allows them to accumulate excessive overtime at the expense of other city departments. A city internal audit report released in March, 2017 revealed that the Albuquerque Police Department spent over $3.9 million over its $9 million “overtime” budget.


At the beginning of each calendar year, City Hall releases the top 250 wage earners for the previous year. The list of 250 top city hall wages earners is what is paid for the full calendar year of January 1, to December 31 of any given year. The 2019, 2020 and 2021 city hall 250 highest paid wage earnings reveals the extent of the staggering amount of overtime paid to APD Sergeants and Lieutenants. All sworn police officers from patrol officer first class up and through the rank of lieutenanat are classified employees, can only be terminated for cause, are paid time and a half for overtime in excess of 40 hours a week worked and and are union members.

For both the years of 2019 and 2020, 160 of 250 top paid city hall employees were police who were paid between $107,885.47 to $199,666.40.

For the calendar year of 2021, 126 of the top 250 city hall wage earners were sworn police officers ranging from the rank of patrol officer 1st class to the rank of Lieutenant.

In 2019, there were 70 APD patrol officers in the list of 250 top paid employees earning pay ranging from $108,167 to $188,844. There were 32 APD lieutenants and 32 APD sergeants in the list of 250 top paid employees earning pay ranging from $108,031 to $164,722 because of overtime.

In 2020, there were 69 patrol officers paid between $110,680 to $176,709. There were 28 APD Lieutenants and 32 APD Sergeants who were paid between $110,698 to $199,001 in the list of the 250 top paid city hall employees paid between.

The lopsided number of APD sworn police officers listed in the top 250 paid city hall employees is directly attributed to the excessive amount of overtime paid to sworn police officers. A comparison of pay between APD sworn, pay to APD Chief Executive Staff and pay to the Mayor’s Executive Staff and Department Director’s for the year 2021 reveals a tremendous disparity.


Eight of 10 APD Chief executive command staff are listed in the top 250 city wage earners. All 8 of the positions are considered “at will employees” and serve at the pleasure of Mayor Keller and are not paid overtime. All 8 are reported to have a received a pay increase upwards of 8% beginning January 1, 2022.

Following are the 8 with pay listed for the full 2021 calendar year:

Medina, Harold, Police Chief Of Police, $177,562.68
Smathers, Michael Jay, 1st Deputy Chief, $149,881.56
Garcia, Eric, 2nd Deputy Chief, $147,444.20
Barker, Cecily, Deputy Chief, $147,201.70
Griego, Jon J , Deputy Chief $144,228.47
Brown, Joshua Deputy Chief, $134,608.38
Lowe, Cori Deputy Chief, $128,409.85
Stanley, Sylvester, Superintendent of Police Reform/DCAO , $123,219.28 (8 months with city and retired and the end of 2021)


There are a total 109 sworn police officers on the list up through the rank of Lieutenant. This does not include sworn officers who are on the list and who have retired. There are a total of 27 Sergeants and 30 Lieutenants listed in the top 250 city wage earners for 2021 still working for APD. There are a total 52 sworn police officers in the ranks of Police Officer First Class, Senior Police Officer and Master Police Officer in the listing of the top 250 top city wage earners for 2021 who are still working for APD.

All 109 sworn police officers on the list up through the rank of Lieutenant have now received 8% or more hourly pay raises under the new contract terms starting January 1, 2022, This means with the new pay and with overtime they will likely be paid even more in 2023 if they continue with working the same level of overtime.

The listing of APD sworn personnel between the ranks of Senior Police Officer and Lieutenant paid by the hour between $130,000 to over $199,000 in 2021 are as follows:

Johnson,Brian APD-Police Sergeant, $199,414.69
Hernandez,Michael, Police Sergeant, $185,941.82
Hernandez,Armando F., PD-Police Sergeant, $162,236.73
Martinez,Dominic , Police Sergeant, $160,268.28
Richards,Joshua R., Police Sergeant, $160,237.57
Price,Bryan HPD-Police Lieutenant, $159,692.06
Greco,Raymond , Police Lieutenant, $157,161.06
Pearson,Nicholas, Police Master Police Officer 1C, $152,957.36
Lopez,Daniel, Police Sergeant, $152,758.37
Hunt,Justin, Police Sergeant, $151,470.59
Arnold,Jerry, Senior Police Officer 1C, $151,123.03
Molina,SonnyPD- Police Sergeant, $149,771.53
Martinez,Marisa, Senior Police Officer 1C, $149,488.84
Feist,Andrew, Master Police Officer 1C, $148,884.44
Deyapp,Lena, Police Lieutenant, $147,563.29
Edison,Jim APD-Police Lieutenant, $147,315.91
Pholphiboun,Phetamphone, Police Sergeant, $147,155.35
Rico,Michael, Police Sergeant, $146,470.80
Solis,Brenda, Senior Police Officer 1C, $145,882.69
Ruiz,Luis, Police Officer 1C, $142,431.13
Saladin,David , Police Lieutenant, $141,845.27
McCarson,Timothy, Police Senior Police Officer 1C, $139,571.76
Champine,Daniel, Master Police Officer 1C, $139,238.67
Shook,Michael B., 1Senior Police Officer 1C, $138,802.93
Frick,Sean, Police Lieutenant, $136,920.10
Apodaca,Timothy, Police Lieutenant, $136,227.46
Kimminau,Randall, Police Officer 1C, $135,920.62
Chavez,Matthew, Police Lieutenant, $135,858.78
Valentino,Gregory Allen, Police Officer, 1C, $135,246.58
Breeden,Charles , Master Police Officer 1C, $134,647.93
Schmidt,Matthew , Police Sergeant, $133,854.45
Rogillio,Justin, Senior Police Officer 1C, $132,497.53
Nicko,Troy, Police Sergeant, $132,170.74
Keeling,Christopher, Senior Police Officer 1C, $131,485.32
Juarez,Terra, PoliceSergeant, $130,638.78
Trebitowski,Justin, Police Lieutenant, $130,280.30
Moore,Douglas , Police Sergeant, $130,193.67
Martinez,Herman, Master Police Officer 1C, $129,987.36
Nelson,Ryan, Police Sergeant, $129,942.70
Porlas,Dwight , Master Police Officer 1C, $129,753.10
Duda,Christopher, Police Officer 1C, $129,693.17
Swessel,Robert, Master Police Officer 1C, $128,817.64
Patterson,Christopher APD-Police Lieutenant, $128,483.46
Herbst,Zachary, Senior Police Officer 1C, $128,341.36
Meyer,Jesse, Master Police Officer 1C, $128,321.49
Walsh,Stephen, Master Police Officer 1C, $127,826.29
Meisinger,Michael, Police Lieutenant, $ 127,404.60
Legendre,Roger, Police Lieutenant, $127,259.76
Sanchez,Jason, Police Lieutenant, $127,107.37
McElroy,Matthew, Police Lieutenant, $126,731.47
Landavazo,Mark, Police Lieutenant, $126,294.15
Franklin,Daniel, Master Police Officer 1C, $126,289.76

The full listing of all APD Sworn Police Officers paid between $113,126.08 to $125,856.93 and appearing in the top paid 250 city hall employees can be found in the postscript below.


According to the 2021 enacted budget, the City of Albuquerque employs 6,259 full time employees with an annual budget of $1.2 Billion dollars. The link to the enacted 2021-2022 budget is here:

Mayor Tim Keller is paid $125,278.72 a year and Albuquerque City Councilors are paid $35,860 a year with their salaries determined by the Citizens’ Independent Salary Commission.

City Executives and Department Directors are considered “at will” employees and serve at the pleasure of Mayor Keller. There are 26 city departments. There are 30 City Hall Executive Positions and Department Directors identified in the top 250 wage earners for the 2021 calendar year. Each are paid a set salary they can negotiate or they take whatever is offered by the mayor. When Keller was first elected 4 years ago, beginning pay for Department Directors was approximately $116,000 but over the last 4 years, the pay has increase to roughly $130,000 a year.

These executives are not eligible for time and a half overtime pay and are required to work whatever hours deem necessary during the week to carry out their duties. Department Director’s duties and responsibilities include management of all personnel assigned to the department and managing budgets usually in the millions.

Executive salaries and Department Directors individuals and what they were paid in 2021 are as follows:


Nair,SaritaCA-Chief Administrative Office Chief Admin Officer, $196,773.12
Rael,Lawrence DCA-Chief Administrative Office Chief Operations Officer, $191,600.30
Aguilar Jr,Esteban , City Attorney, $150,724.32
Bhakta,SanjayFA-Finance Admin Svc Chief Financial Officer, $150,224.31
Sourisseau,Kevin JCA-Chief Administrative Office Associate CAO, $130,261.91
Puelle,Michael Chief Administrative Office Chief of Staff, $139,445.91


Osterloh,Brian ATI-Technology and Innovation Director, $144,118.55
DiMenna,Mark, Environmental Health, Deputy Director, $132,786.87
Leech,Mark TTI-Technology and Innovation Deputy Director, $135,419.97
Simon,David, Parks and Recreation Director, $135,204.31
Ortega,Carolyn, Animal Welfare Director, $130,549.91
Martinez,Jennifer Renee, Finance Admin Svc Director, $130,041.12
Pierce,Carol MFC-Family Community Services Director, $130,041.12
Martinez,Jennifer Renee, -Finance Admin Svc Director, $130,041.12
Montoya,Charles PMD-Municipal Development Director, $130,041.11
Daniel,Christopher Finance Admin., Chief Investment Officer, $128,545.11
Whelan,Matthew Solid Waste Director, $124,877.92
Watson,Ethan , City Clerk, $124,877.91
VanEtten de Sanchez,MaryCS, Cultural Services Director, $124,877.91
Romero,Anthony RHR-Human Resources Director, $122,747.91
Sandoval,Donna, City Controller, $125,989.90
Sanchez,Anna, Senior Affairs Director, $124,877.90
Rogers,Paul JMD-Municipal Development Deputy Director/DMD, $123,362.71
Varela,Alan, Municipal Development Deputy Director, $123,180.37
Stowell,StephanieCS-Cultural ServicesE20BioPark Administrator, $122,468.86
Flores,David MPR-Parks and Recreation Deputy Director-Parks & Rec, $118,959.95
McCurley,RichardAV-Aviation Deputy Director Aviation, $118,005.92
Smith,Dean PCS-Cultural ServicesE19Assoc Director Library, $116,776.07
Davis,Lawrence LFA-Finance Admin SvcE20City Budget Officer, $116,733.91
Truong,Loc THR-Human ResourcesE20Deputy Director/HR, $113,739.92


Over 6 months ago, on August 6, 2021, New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colon released a long-awaited special audit report on overtime abuse by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The 64-page audit was performed by the Albuquerque accounting firm Porch & Associates LLC. The audit covers the time period of January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020. The link to the entire 64-page audit report is here:

The audit was the 7th audit performed on APD overtime practices since 2014. The audit includes the second term of previous Republican Richard Berry and the first 2 ½ years of Democrat Mayor Tim Keller’s 4-year term. The 6 prior audits resulted in 17 findings and recommendation made. There was an absolute failure by APD command staff to carry out and implement the changes needed to solve the overtime problem. The released audit identified that certain APD police union contract terms and conditions are in violations of the Federal Labor Fair Standards act and that the police union contract has contributed significantly to the overtime pay abuse by rank-and-file police officers.

The links to quoted news source material are here:


The Porch & Associates Audit identifies the major failures of APD dealing with overtime abuse. Those failures are:

1. The failure of APD supervisors to properly monitor and pre-approve officer overtime. There is a lack of internal controls for leave requests. The special audit specifically named now-former police officer and APD Spokesman Simon Drobik. Last year a separate APD Internal Affairs investigation found he had committed rampant fraud.

2. As examples of fraud committed, the review of leave requests found that there was no record of leave request forms for one officer. In another instance an APD employee utilized system software to approve their own time resulting in over $8,000 dollars in overtime. Whether the time claimed was actually worked is unknown. In another instance, an officer submitted and was compensated for being “On call Status” 581 times in 2018. During those 51 weeks the officer worked 207 Chief’s Overtime Assignments.

3. The overtime practice where officers who are on vacation or paid time off can use those hours as the basis for claiming overtime pay. The audit was clear that “parts of the APOA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that allow for excess overtime compensation” are not allowed and violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In particular, there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) called a “12 Hour MOU” that deals with overtime, compensation time, work shift designation policy and what is referred to as a “comp time bucket”. According to one audit, the MOU is “scarcely followed”. Additionally, there is no clear indication or definition of the Department’s minimum staffing levels for shifts worked.

4. APD standard operating procedures are not being updated to in include changing and conflicting overtime policies. Several Department policies, including Standard Operating Procedures for overtime, compensatory time, and work shift designations, have not been reviewed or updated since March 10, 2016. Many rank and file officers as well as their supervisors, which are the Lieutenants and Sergeants who approve overtime, are confused as to what the overtime policies actually are and what they mean. Instead of getting any clarification or definitive answers from the Human Resources Department, they simply developed their own interpretations and allowed questionable overtime pay.

5. APD Officers were allowed to work “Chief’s Overtime”, which is working for a private company paying for security at the same time they are on on-call status with APD. The practice is a clear violation of APD personnel rules and regulations. The SOP policies are simply ignored and the overtime is allowed by supervisors to happen. The Porch & Associates Audit found a lack of internal controls and deficiencies for Chief’s Overtime. The Department’s policy does not list or define the eligibility requirements for officers working Chief’s Overtime. Although supervisory approval is required for other types of overtime, it is not required for Chief’s Overtime. Sworn police officers are allowed to cancel their regular shifts in order to work Chief’s Overtime which is more lucrative for the officer.

6. There is automatic award of two-hour overtime award, which pays time and a half per hour, for officers who have to appear in court for Driving While Intoxicating (DWI) arraignment and trials and traffic ticket violations they write. Even though a court appearance may take only 15 minutes, the officer is allowed to claim and be paid a full 2 hours of overtime at time and a half pay as mandated by the union contract. The system encourages officers to settle cases quickly so they can go home and collect 2 hours of overtime and not work the hours of overtime paid.

7. APD doesn’t monitor officer overtime for irregular activity. The Department does not have a policy or procedure in place that prevents and detects overlapping or incorrect reported time. APD does not reconcile its overtime transactions between its timekeeping and payroll systems thereby contributing to inappropriate and prohibited overtime pay at time and a half.


When the Porch & Associates Audit Report was released on August 6, the Keller Administration, including Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Harold Medina and APD Spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos, placed all the blame on former Chief of Police Michael Geier for failure to address the APD overtime abuses and giving preferential treatment to a select few. The Keller Administration issued a harsh statement blaming Mayor Tim Keller’s appointed former APD Police Chief Michael Geier for all the overtime abuse problems. The statement said in part:

The former chief knowingly covered up overtime abuses and helped his favored employees’ game the system to enrich themselves. … The report makes it clear that the ‘tone at the top’ of APD was a major driver of the abuse and the failure to make needed changes. We didn’t hesitate to take bold action to remove the top cop and get the department back on track.”

Chief Geier for his part issued a press release denying the accusation saying he came up with a plan to prevent the overtime abuse, including a 25 hour weekly overtime cap, and saying it was Mayor Tim Keller who interfered with him making changes to the overtime.

Chief Harold Medina had this to say:

“The overtime problems with APD have occurred since I can remember coming on this department. … So there’s been a lot of people who could have taken action quicker than they did … I do know that it was a priority of ours. We did make the decision to put up a special order as quickly as possible. And we’re also working on auditing ourselves and creating a system where we try to catch things earlier. We encourage that type of oversight within the department.”

The link to the quoted source material is here:


In an interview after the audit was release, State Auditor Colón said he thought his office’s latest audit would make a difference. He said an annual audit for the city will look at this issue next year and added:

“I think the city has articulated that they’re committed to addressing these findings and to embracing these recommendations … I’ve met with the chief of police, and he has indicated that some of these 22 recommendations have already been implemented. We’re optimistic that as we continue to keep the pressure on we’ll get into a situation where we have 100% compliance.”

The link to the quoted source material is here:


One of the most dramatic findings in the Porch & Associates Audit is that the APD police union contract violates the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act provides:

“Paid leave is not considered time worked for the purposes of computing overtime”.

The audit goes as far as saying terms of the union contract need to be negotiated and that the City can save thousands of dollars in overtime by insisting that the APOA police union and APD follow the Fair Labor Standards Act. The audit also said the City should not bargain away what is established by law.

The audit recommended that the City negotiate with the police union to remove the guaranteed overtime and replace it with actual time. Actual time would start when the officer leaves their home, or work assignment if after a normal shift, through the time they get home.


The Porch & Associates Audit downplayed and essentially ignored the role of the APD Union membership of Sergeants and Lieutenants and the union contract in the entire overtime abuse scandal.

The New Mexico Public Employees Bargaining Act, Sections 10-7E-1 to 10-7E-26 H (NMSA 1978), governs the enforcement of the city’s collective bargaining agreement with the APD police union. Section 10-7E-5 provides for the rights of public employees and states in part:

“Public employees, other than management employees and confidential employees, may form, join or assist a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining … .”

The link to the statute is here:


When State Auditor Brian Colon released his special audit of APD’s overtime pay abuse, he had this to say:

“I think the city has articulated that they’re committed to addressing these findings and to embracing these recommendations.”

It would appear that State Auditor Brian Colon’s was way too optimistic and the audit has accomplished absolutely nothing to bring down excessive overtime pay and that overtime pay abuse is still continuing at APD.

A full 6 months after his audit was released, the top 250 wage earner list shows nothing has really changed and the audit had no impact on making a change in performance and APD overtime pays is still out of control .

The extreme disproportionate pay between sworn police officers and City Executives and Department Directors is the result of mandated overtime provisions of the police union contract. The contract provisions have not be changes The union contract allows sworn police to be paid twice or three times as much in base pay and well over $100,000 and upwards of $200,000 a year.


On February 9, Police Union lawyer Fred Mower told Judge James Browning in a status conference hearing on the Court Approved Settlement that the current union contract is identical to previous contract that has expired and that only hourly pay rates were negotiated.

It is Section 1.3., page 3, of the new police union contract that allows the management positions of APD sergeants and lieutenants to join the union as follows:

“The APOA is recognized as the Exclusive Representative for regular full time, non-probationary police officers through the rank of Lieutenants in the APD … .”

This is the identical provision in the expired contract that the Police Union ostensibly refused to negotiate with the Keller Administration. Confidential sources have confirmed that the Keller Administration and the Police Union have come to a mutual understanding that sergeants and lieutenants are not management positions but rather “co-workers of supervising collegues”who are part of a unit that give commands and that provide leadership support functions. The understanding is not embodied in the contract and contrary to basic management principals and best practices under labor law. The fact is sergeants and lieutenants are management responsible for oversight and disciplinary action of subordinates.

The New Mexico Public Employees Bargaining Act, Sections 10-7E-1 to 10-7E-26 H (NMSA 1978), governs the enforcement of the city’s collective bargaining agreement with the APD police union. The link to the statute is here:

As the union contract is written, it is in violation of New Mexico Public Employees Bargaining Act. Section 10-7E-5 entitled Rights of public employees provides as follows:

A. Public employees, OTHER THAN MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES and confidential employees may form, join or assist a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives chosen by public employees without interference, restraint or coercion and shall have the right to refuse those activities. (Capitalization added for emphasis)

The plain language of the statute makes it clear management are prohibited from joining unions. The new police union contract allowing the APD management positions of sergeants and lieutenants to be police union members clearly violates state law and is therefore void from the beginning and therefor unenforceable. Sergeants and lieutenants should be removed from the police union, paid salaries without being paid overtime and made at will employees.


No effort was made during the most recent police union contract negotiations to reduce the number of hours allowed for overtime a sworn officer can be paid nor limiting it to rank and file and not management who are at will. From a personnel management standpoint, excessive overtime can lead to serious burn out, reduce the alertness of an officer and endanger public safety.

There are 4 major initiative that need to be undertaken

1.Remove Lieutenants and Sergeants from the police bargaining unit and make them at will employees in order to conform with state law and federal law that prohibits management from joining the union.
When the Porch & Associates Audits said that there was a failure of APD supervisors to properly monitor and pre-approve officer overtime, what it failed to disclose is those supervisors are the management positions of lieutenants and sergeants who are allowed to join the APD police union despite being management. Instead of enforcing limitations on overtime and preventing the overtime abuse, many sergeants and lieutenants are simply participating in excessive overtime pay practices themselves. They are likely approving all overtime submitted by their subordinates to keep them happy and to maintain a working relationship with them and to garner favor with them.

2. Negotiate a union contract term that makes it clear that “paid leave is not considered time worked for the purposes of computing overtime” in order to comply with the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).

3. Negotiate a union contract term that whenever it is determined that overtime was paid in violation of APD standard operating procedures and overtime policy, the overtime pay must be refunded to the city either in single lump sum or garnishment of wages.

4. The Albuquerque City Council needs to enact as part of the city’s personnel rules and regulations prohibitions to remove the guaranteed overtime and replace it with actual time. Actual time would start when the officer leaves their home, or work assignment if after a normal shift, through the time they get home.

Until major terms and provisions of the union contract are negotiated to bring in into compliance with both Federal and State Law, the list of the top 250 waged earners in the city will have an excessive number of sworn police benefiting from overtime at the expense of other city hall employees.


Below is the listing of all APD Sworn Police Officers paid between $113,126.08 to $125,856.93 and appearing in the top paid 250 city hall employees:

Alba Jr,HonorioPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $125,856.93
Anderson,Hollie LPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $125,552.20
Barnard,Jeffery R.PD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $125,401.06
Jones III,JimmiePD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $124,663.79
Carter,Jessie W.PD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $124,601.47
Sedler,Amy JPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $124,529.93
Barraza,RenePD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $124,201.10
Anaya,AdamPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $124,160.63
Haugh,PaulPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $124,082.93
Babcock,Tod SPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $123,983.98
Montano,JoshuaPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $123,949.86
Mondragon,Gregory APD-PoliceATSAPD Prisoner Trans Sergeant, $123,890.14
Brito,ChristopherPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $123,759.48
Avila,Michael APD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $123,617.39
Wild,AmandaPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $123,520.56
Arreola,Joshua APD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $123,336.11
Martinez,Melvin JFD-FireRL2Para Lieutenant, $123,317.59
Luna,Michael APD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $123,047.76
Nakamura,RachelPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $123,040.54
Brown,JasonPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $122,445.75
Lujan,Damian MPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $122,093.10
Sandoval,AlbertPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $122,025.42
Morales,Daniel JPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $121,770.54
Romero,Christopher MPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $121,602.61
Wheeler,NicholasPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $121,451.85
Barela,Victor DPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $121,077.88
Sedillo,Richard EPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $120,833.46
Brown,EricPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $120,494.70
Sanders,Nicholas MPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $120,253.49
Hotle,Timothy LPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $ 120,207.58
Languit,Luke CPD-PolicePH0Commander, $120,194.93
Lee,Arlys MPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $120,151.78
Chacon,Jennifer MPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $120,058.44
Armijo,Louis JPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $119,988.46
Altman,Steve APD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $119,948.56
Pelot,Jerrod C.PD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $119,356.16
Sanchez,Robert SPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, 118,506.46
Baca,Alycia NPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $ 118,375.37
Jewell,ChasePD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $118,339.84
Valdez,Ruben EPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $118,276.38
Hernandez,Pablo HPD-PolicePE0Police Officer, 1C $118,122.89
Gomez,Gustavo A.PD-PolicePG0Lieutenant $117,962.21
DeAguero,Daren JPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $117,640.55
Martinez,Vicente MPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $117,622.64
Rael,Miguel MPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $117,527.04
Bell Garcia,Jennifer LPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $117,136.82
Otzenberger,Deanne DPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $117,134.49
Kesner,Zachary L.PD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $117,126.21
Martinez,Steve TPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $117,026.80
Perez,Mario EPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $116,995.44
Oates,Michael APD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $116,235.31
Acata,Mel LPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $116,030.72
Zambrano,AnthonyPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $115,887.16
Suarez,Anthony R.PD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $115,618.18
Accilien,Marc-HenryPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $115,525.46
Vigil Jr,Thomas CPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $115,274.87
Burt,Tyler CPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $115,245.40
Burton,Whitney N.PD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $115,161.54
Chavez,Jason DPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $115,023.71
Duren,Robert LPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $115,002.34
Taylor,David MPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $114,723.12
Solis,EmmanuelPD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $114,694.17
Casados,CarlosPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $114,495.52
Gomez,Geno Virgil EPD-PolicePE2Master Police Officer 1C, $114,381.38
Jones,Luke HPD-PolicePE0Police Officer 1C, $114,193.02
DeHerrera,Justin GeorgePD-PolicePE1Senior Police Officer 1C, $113,774.71
Higdon,SeanPD-PolicePF0Sergeant, $113,373.72
Napoleone,Kevin JPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $113,225.62
Ollquist,Renee APD-PolicePF0Sergeant $113,135.62
Dietzel,Matt CPD-PolicePG0Lieutenant, $113,126.08

The link to the entire listing of the top 250 wage earners is here:

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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.