$1.5 Billion For Hundreds Of Capital Outlay Projects In New Mexico Approved; Bernalillo County Gets More Money In Capital Outlay Than Any Other County In State; ABQ Gets $15 Million In Approved Capital Outlay Spending; $5 Billion Goes Unspent

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the  final $10.21 billion state budget on March 6.  The massive budget includes $1.8 billion in capital outlay requests and general obligation bond appropriations for a variety of projects in communities across the state. Each legislative session, lawmakers pass a capital outlay bill  to pay for all or part of new infrastructure or construction.

From highway improvements to school buses, following is a listing of 17 capital outlay projects with each having a $15 million or more in state funding:

  • $107 million in Bernalillo County for Rio Bravo Boulevard improvements
  • $75 million in Lea County to improve Highway 128 from milepost 28.8 to 50.5 near Jal
  • $70 million in Eddy County to improve Highway 180 from milepost 128.27 to 142.5
  • $62.8 million in McKinley County to improve the Interstate 40 bridge east of Gallup
  • $45 million in Doña Ana County to improve the intersection of state highways 213 and 404
  • $45 million in multiple counties to improve Highway 380 from Roswell to the state line
  • $40 million in Santa Fe County to improve Interstate 25 from milepost 276 to 291
  • $34 million in Union County for the Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility
  • $30 million for tribal community projects in several counties
  • $30 million in San Miguel County for New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute forensics facility construction in Las Vegas
  • $29 million for the Public Education Department to replace school buses statewide
  • $25 million in Colfax County to improve the I-25 and U.S. 64 intersection in Raton
  • $18 million for Water Trust Board projects statewide
  • $16 million for the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to do facility and infrastructure improvements at state parks
  • $15.6 million in Bernalillo County for Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park improvements
  • $15 million in Bernalillo County for renovations at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Cancer Center
  • $15 million in Sandoval County for Sandoval County Magistrate Court construction



The 2024 New Mexico State legislature committed $289 million to 468 new capital outlay projects in Bernalillo County.  Forty-two capital outlay projects in the county also got reauthorized.

Most of the new projects are in Albuquerque, but there are also projects in Los Ranchos, Tijeras, To’hajiilee and the Chilili Land Grant. More new projects and more money are being committed to Bernalillo County than any other county in the state.

The three getting the most capital money are:

  • Rio Bravo Boulevard improvements, coming in at $107 million and funded through severance tax bonds. The state Department of Transportation project will widen Rio Bravo from four lanes to six lanes from Isleta to Second, according to Bernalillo County Deputy Manager Elias Archuleta. The project will also reconstruct the bridges over the Rio Grande.
  • Improvements for Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, costing $15.6 million from the state general fund. The funding could be used for upgrades to water, sewer and electrical and restrooms. There is also $100,000 for Balloon Fiesta Park baseball field improvements and $50,000 for baseball cages.
  • $15 million from the general fund to renovate the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Cancer Center.

There are 33 new projects with more than $1 million in capital outlay funds located in Bernalillo County.

The governor vetoed one $200,000 capital outlay project in Bernalillo County,  improvements for Netherwood Park, also known as the  Lt. Governor Diane Denish memorial playground park,  and central Albuquerque parks,  before signing the capital outlay bill.



Housing, parks and police helicopters are just a few of the big-ticket items in Albuquerque getting state funding. The Legislature approved millions in capital outlay dollars for Albuquerque projects this session.

Balloon Fiesta Park will get $15.7 million for infrastructure improvements. The city’s wish list for Balloon Fiesta Park upgrades includes restrooms, water, sewer and electrical upgrades, road, parking lot and walkway improvements and more parking and protection for balloon landing sites, but exactly which upgrades will be done with the state funding is undecided.

David Flores, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, said  the $15.7  million will not cover all of the projects on the City’s wish list. Designs for the park improvements will have to consider the planned United soccer stadium on the land, Flores said. “But these would be independent and would have benefit long term for the park. We’ve had various plans for electrical upgrades for many years and sewer needs are there now, and of course, restrooms are needed now,” Flores said.

“I personally have been here for 28 years, and I don’t think I would have ever seen the day when they come in with this sort of money for infrastructure. … Usually you’re trying to build the bigger, flashier things, but to have something invested in for years to come with infrastructure is just very prudent and responsible,” Flores said.

More parking and buying more land to ensure balloons have space for landing are high on the wish list, said Emily Moore, Parks and Recreation marketing and communications coordinator.

Aside from the hot air balloons, food is one of the biggest components of Balloon Fiesta, and upgrading electrical capabilities at the park would make it easier for food vendors to operate, according to Flores.

While Balloon Fiesta Park has received substantial amounts in capital outlay funding in years past, this year’s capital outlay funding is more sizable than Flores has seen.


The city will also get money to put toward rail yards renovations ($10.1 million) for the film academy, funding for Albuquerque Museum Education Center construction ($1.6 million), Cibola Loop Multigenerational Center ($1.2 million), North Domingo Baca Aquatic Center construction ($1 million), Rio Grande State Park improvements ($1.6 million), $11.4 million for park improvements and construction throughout the city, and $2.1 million for library renovations.


The city will also get $1.6 million for Housing Navigation Center construction and $2.2 million for affordable housing construction.

“We appreciate the important progress that was made, but it’s clear that there is still a lot of work to be done,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “As the largest city in the state, we serve and care for people from all around New Mexico, which is why we need the state to step up and take care of the critical parts of the criminal justice and behavioral health systems for which they are responsible.”


The Albuquerque Police Department will get a new helicopter for $3 million. Other public safety-focused dollars include money for Southwest Public Safety Center construction ($1.7 million), fire station renovation and construction ($3.9 million), road projects and infrastructure in the city ($3.8 million), and the Paseo del Norte and Unser expansion ($2.8 million).

Bernalillo County Commissioner Walt Benson shared his support for the Paseo/Unser project, which will expand Paseo del Norte to four lanes for a section of the road, before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the capital outlay bill into law.

Benson said in a statement:

“We will make sure the city has any support it might need from the county as this project gets underway.”



On November 15, 2023, the on-line news agency Source New Mexico reported that billions in public funds meant to pay for new buildings, vehicles and equipment for local communities throughout New Mexico have not been spent. Legislative staff are recommending state officials create a new government office to help complete projects.

“State analyst Cally Carswell told the Legislative Finance Committee that at the end of September, 2023 there was nearly $5 billion in unspent funds set aside for 4,900 projects funded by the state’s “capital outlay” program. There are 766 active projects, which lawmakers have given at least $1 million for fiscal year 2024, accounting for $3.6 billion in total, according to data produced by legislative staff.

Of those, 415 are on schedule, 170 are behind schedule, and 181 have had no activity, or the local governments responsible have not sold the bonds needed to raise the money, or are facing “significant obstacles to completion,” according to the report. These include, for example, the relocation of the Guadalupe County Magistrate Court, a few senior center projects, numerous projects with the city of Santa Fe, money set aside for road construction and money for a therapeutic group home run by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

Only 11 projects funded with more than $1 million have been completed or have been granted an extension, according to the LFC data. This includes the Vladem Contemporary Museum of Art in Santa Fe, upgrades to the Albuquerque Police Department evidence lab, a vehicle for the Albuquerque Fire Department, and upgrades to a building at Eastern New Mexico University.

Earlier in the year Carswell told lawmakers that construction costs are increasing, and contractors are having difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers to meet demand for construction in the state.  In a November  update, she said the situation remained the same.

Carswell said almost all of the 1,400 projects lawmakers approved in the 2023 legislative session were funded with money out of the state’s General Fund, its biggest single pot of public money. The source of the money matters because the law that authorizes spending requires each capital outlay project to spend at least 5% of the money within a year. When that doesn’t happen, the money gets pulled back into the General Fund.”

Three key state agencies that manage most capital outlay money: the Department of Finance and Administration, the Indian Affairs Department, and the New Mexico Environment Department.

[There were billions more in capital outlay requests made during the 2024 session.] Those approved projects are likely to face a “construction market saturated if not oversaturated, where it’s difficult to start new things and complete those already in the pipeline” Carswell said.

In 2025 and beyond, Carswell said she recommends lawmakers consider setting an earlier deadline for local capital outlay requests, and creating a basic method of vetting and tracking projects that get state money.

That could allow lawmakers to fund planning and design separately from construction, so that the larger amounts of money would be reserved for major construction projects with proper plans and that are ready to go, she said.”



During the 2024 legislative session that ended on February 16, lawmakers said they’re frustrated at the process of capital outlay  projects continually getting funding from the state but not getting done. While considering reauthorization of around a billion dollars in funding earmarked for capital projects statewide this year, one lead lawmaker said it’s time to spend the money or use it for something else.

It’s become an annual effort during the legislative session to push back the deadline on when billions in capital funds must be spent.  Senator Nancy Rodriguez (D-Santa Fe), who sponsored Senate Bill 246  for reauthorization of capital projects during the 2024 legislative session said this:

“The substitute includes 253 capital projects that have been requested for reauthorization–for an extension of time or purpose or administrative agency. The usual annual bill that we have to reauthorize projects so that we don’t lose the funding. … A lot of these projects got delayed due to the pandemic so we’re having to re-do these.”  

However, some senators are running out of patience after this year’s effort. Legislative analysts told legislators there’s around five billion dollars in unspent capital outlay funds, but lawmakers were missing a lot of details on those projects including when were the projects originally approved. One legislative analyst said the furthest back that project went  back in the reauthorization bill was 2016.  There’s also frustration with why it’s taking so long to spend the money.

Senator Diamond Brantley said this:

“When I look on here and see some of these are vehicle purchases, I don’t know how anyone can’t get a vehicle purchased in five years. …  At some point, we have to say enough is enough because we’re sitting on this money.”

Senator George Muñoz (D-Gallup)  went so far as to say that next year, he won’t entertain any reauthorization requests. Muñoz said  this:

“We’re going to draw the line in the sand and say, ‘we can’t get it done.’ And we’ll take that money as cash and we’ll backfill projects that need to be completed so we can get stuff done.”



The approval of $1.5 billion for hundreds of capital outlay projects during the 2023 legislative session is indeed as impressive as it gets. You would think that the hardest part of getting any truly needed capital-outlay-project would be making sure there is enough funding to get it done. But that’s not the case in the State of New Mexico. It turns out actually spending it has become the problem.

$5 billion in unspent funds set aside for 4,900 projects funded by the state’s “capital outlay” program is an embarrassment. The legislature needs to implement an aggressive review of all projects and defund and reappropriate funding  and ensure the money is in fact spent.

Key Takeaways From US Supreme Court Arguments On Trump’s Absolute Immunity Claims; Court Likely To Send Back To Lower Courts; Trump Supreme Court Disciples Give Trump Another Gift Of Delay

On August 1, 2023 former President Donald Trump was charged by federal Special Counsel Jack Smith with the following 4 crimes:

  • Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S.
  • Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding
  • Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding
  • Conspiracy Against Rights

All 4 federal charges relate to Trumps efforts to obstruct or stop the January 6, 2021 congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.  The indictment describes how Trump repeatedly told supporters and others that he had won the election, despite knowing that it was false, and how he tried to persuade state officials, then-Vice President Mike Pence and finally Congress to overturn the legitimate results.

After a weekslong campaign of lies about the election results, prosecutors allege that Trump sought to exploit the violent rampage at the Capitol by pointing to it as a reason to further delay the counting of votes that sealed his defeat.  In their charging documents, prosecutors referenced a half-dozen unindicted co-conspirators, including lawyers inside and outside of government who they said had worked with Trump to undo the election results and advanced legally dubious schemes to enlist slates of fake electors in battleground states won by Biden.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 4 charges and has defended against them by saying he has Presidential Immunity for his action of January 6, 2021 and his efforts to stop the certification of election results were within his powers and authority as president. The Trump campaign has called the charges “fake” and asked why it took 2 1/2 years to bring them.


On December 12, 2023 Special Counsel Jack Smith asked the US Supreme Court to immediately step in to decide whether former President Donald Trump has immunity from prosecution for his actions seeking to overturn the 2020 election.  Smith wrote in his petition to the US Supreme Court:

“This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office. … [it is] of imperative public importance … that the high court decide the question … [so that the  trial, currently scheduled for March, can move forward as quickly as possible.]”

Earlier, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the election interference case, denied Trump’s motion to dismiss his indictment on presidential immunity and constitutional grounds, prompting Trump to appeal and ask for the case to be put on hold.  In order to prevent a delay, Smith sought to circumvent the appeals process by asking the Supreme Court to take up the case and decide the issue on an expedited basis.

On December 22, the Supreme Court  denied special counsel Jack Smith’s bid to fast-track a dispute about whether former President Donald Trump should enjoy absolute immunity from prosecution for misconduct during his time in the White House. The court did not offer a reason for its decision. The action reverted to the federal appeals court in Washington on the question of immunity.

On February 6, 2023, the  federal appeals court ruled  that Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution for alleged crimes he committed during his presidency, flatly rejecting Trump’s arguments that he shouldn’t have to go on trial on federal election subversion charges The judges made it clear that Trump’s actions could be prosecuted in a court of law.

The judges cited the public interest in accountability for potential crimes committed by a former president, and how that overcame Trump’s argument that immunity was necessary to protect the institution of the presidency. They flatly rejected Trump’s claim that his criminal indictment would have a “chilling effect” on future administrations.





Trump appealed the to the United States Supreme Court the Court of Appeals decision that he is not immune from prosecution and seeking a “stay of the criminal case” by the Supreme Court until they render a decision.  A key part of Trump’s legal strategy has been to delay his criminal cases until after the 2024 election.  In response to the Trump appeal and the request to place a hold on the proceedings, Special Council Jack Smith filed a request to treat the Trump stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari and to treat the case in an expedited manner.

On Wednesday, February 28, the US Supreme Court granted CERTIORARI and agreed to hear the case and issued an expedited scheduling order for briefing.  Following is the order in part:

“The application for a stay presented to The Chief Justice is referred by him to the Court. The Special Counsel’s request to treat the stay application as a petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, and that petition is granted limited to the following question:

Whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.

… .


The parties were given deadlines to file briefs and  oral arguments were set for April 25, 2024. On April25, the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments from both sides and the hearing last upwards of 2 hours and 45 minutes.


On April 25, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Trumps absolute immunity from prosecution claim.  The Supreme Court appeared likely to reject former President Donald Trump’s claim of absolute immunity from prosecution over election interference, but several justices signaled reservations about the charges that could cause a lengthy delay, possibly beyond November’s election.

“A majority of the justices did not appear to embrace the claim of absolute immunity that would stop special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump on charges he conspired to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. But in arguments lasting more than 2 1/2 hours in the court’s first consideration of criminal charges against a former president, several conservative justices indicated they could limit when former presidents might be prosecuted, suggesting that the case might have to be sent back to lower courts before any trial could begin. Justice Samuel Alito said that ‘whatever we decide is going to apply to all future presidents.’ ”

The active questioning of all nine justices left the strong impression that the court was not headed for the sort of speedy, consensus decision that would allow a trial to begin quickly. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, two of Trump’s three high court appointees, and Alito said their concern was not the case against Trump, but rather the effect of their ruling on future presidencies.

Each time Justice Department lawyer Michael Dreeben sought to focus on Trump’s actions, these justices jumped in. “This case has huge implications for the presidency, for the future of the presidency, for the future of the country,” Kavanaugh said. The court is writing a decision “for the ages,” Gorsuch said.

Several justices drilled down on trying to come up with a definition of what constituted an official act versus a private act for personal gain, and whether charges based on official acts  should be thrown out. For example, Trump’s conversations with then-Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to reject some electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, might  fall under official acts.

Justice Barrett asked US Attorney Dreeben whether Smith’s team could “just proceed based on the private conduct and drop the official conduct.” Dreeben said that might be possible, especially if prosecutors could, for example, use the conversations with Justice Department officials and Pence to make their case.

The link to the quoated news source is here:



CNN News Agency published online a very succinct report on the April 25 Supreme Court hearing. Following is the report:

CNN HEADLINE: Takeaways from the Supreme Court Arguments On Trump’s Absolute Immunity Claims

By John FritzeTierney Sneed and Marshall Cohen.  CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Hannah Rabinowitz and Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

“The Supreme Court appeared ready to reject former President Donald Trump’s claims of sweeping immunity and the broad protections he has sought to shut down his federal election subversion case, but also reluctant to give special counsel Jack Smith carte blanche to pursue those charges.

After nearly three hours of oral arguments, several of the justices seemed willing to embrace a result that could jeopardize the ability to hold a trial before the November election.

The court’s conservatives aggressively questioned the lawyer representing the special counsel, seemingly embracing a central theme that had been raised by Trump that without at least some form of immunity future presidents would over time be subjected to politically motivated prosecutions.

Much of the hearing focused on whether there should be a distinction between official acts by Trump pursuant to his presidential duties and his private conduct.

How the court decides the dispute could determine Trump’s legal fate and will likely set the rules of criminal exposure for future presidents.”

Here are the key takeaways:


 As the justices wrestled with the nuances of the case and a series of complicated hypotheticals, it seemed increasingly unlikely the court would offer a clear answer on whether Trump may be prosecuted for his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The upshot is that the Supreme Court appeared likely to leave much of that work to lower courts, proceedings that could take months and further delay a trial that had originally been set for March 4.

That outcome would play into Trump’s strategy of delay and jeopardize a trial before the election.

Chief Justice John Roberts at one point criticized the unanimous and scathing ruling against Trump from the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that would have allowed his case to quickly move to a trial. Roberts suggested the appeals court didn’t lay out an adequate reason for why virtually all of Trump’s actions were subject to prosecution.

“As I read it, it says simply a former president can be prosecuted because he’s being prosecuted,” Roberts said skeptically. ‘Why shouldn’t we either send it back to the court of appeals or issue an opinion making clear that that’s not the law?’ ”


 “In a notable series of concessions, Trump’s attorney John Sauer acknowledged that some of the alleged conduct supporting the criminal charges against the former president were private.

The admission shows how much ground Sauer gave up during the hearing, after Trump had made more sweeping claims in his legal briefs earlier this year, asserting that the entire prosecution should be thrown out.

Trump himself has continued to lobby for absolute immunity, including before his appearance at a New York court where he’s on trial for business fraud.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett was the first to pin Sauer down on the distinction between official and personal acts alleged in the charges. He tentatively agreed with how, in court filings, the special counsel had labeled particular acts as private – acts that alleged that Trump plotted with his private attorneys and campaign advisers to spread bogus election fraud claims, to file false court filings and to put forward fraudulent sets of electors. As part of the exchange, he conceded those private acts would not be covered by presidential immunity.

In a later back and forth with Justice Elena Kagan, Sauer muddied the waters.

He said that Trump’s phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger , in which he requested Raffensperger “find” enough votes to flip the results, was not an official act. But Sauer claimed Trump was acting in an official capacity in his conversation with the Republican National Committee about assembling slates of so-called “fake electors” and his call for the Arizona lawmakers to hold a hearing on election fraud.

Sauer’s willingness to commit to the idea that some allegations in the indictment weren’t protected by immunity was an extraordinary walk back of what had been the former president’s position up to that point.

But the Trump lawyer may be hoping that the move will encourage the justices to order more proceedings on deciding what’s private and what’s public in the indictment, a move that could seriously delay the case’s march to trial.”


“Several members of the court’s conservative majority – including Barrett – appeared concerned about the scope of Trump’s claim that he is entitled to “absolute” immunity.

Trump’s attorney, Sauer, faced a series of hostile questions in the early moments of the hearing about that position.

What will likely prove critical – and what was not clear from the arguments – is how the Supreme Court sends the case back to lower courts for more review.

Barrett at one point sketched out how the case could move to trial quickly: Smith could simply focus on Trump’s actions that were private and not official.

“The special counsel has expressed some concern for speed,” Barrett said. She asked DOJ attorney Michael Dreeben if the trial court can sort out what’s official or private acts of the presidency or whether there “another option for the special counsel just to proceed on the private conduct?”

Prosecutors could, hypothetically, draft a slimmed-down superseding indictment that strips out the potentially official acts.

Dreeben told Barrett that the indictment against Trump is substantially about private conduct, meaning that a trial could proceed even if the Supreme Court finds some immunity for Trump’s official actions.”


It was pretty clear where the court’s three liberals will be when the opinion lands.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson spent much of the argument quizzing the attorneys on the potential implications of Trump’s absolute immunity position.

In one of the many hypotheticals the liberals tossed at Trump’s attorney, Kagan asked what would happen if a president ordered the military to stage a coup. Could that be prosecuted under Trump’s theory?

Sauer responded that a president would first have to be impeached and convicted before he could be charged criminally. Kagan fired back by asking what would happen if the order came on the final days of a presidency and there was not time to impeach or convict.

“You’re saying that’s an official act? That’s immune?” Kagan asked.

Sauer had to acknowledge that, under Trump’s theory, “it could well be.”

“That sure sounds bad, doesn’t it?” Kagan responded.

Echoing a more fundamental argument the special counsel raised earlier in the case, Jackson said she was concerned Trump’s argument would put presidents above the law.

‘If there’s no threat of criminal prosecution, what prevents the president from just doing whatever he wants?” Jackson said. “I’m trying to understand what the disincentive is from turning the Oval Office into the seat of criminal activity in this country.’ ”


 There was some handwringing by conservatives about the possibility that an ex-president would be subjected to criminal proceedings for conduct that might ultimately be covered by immunity or some form of presidential protection.

Alito went as far as to suggest that denying ex-presidents immunity would discourage peaceful transfers of power, because outgoing presidents who lost hotly contested elections would not want to depart peacefully if they were concerned they’d be prosecuted by their political rival.

Multiple Republican appointees on the court pushed back at the special counsel’s claim that there are ample protections in the criminal justice system to prevent abusive prosecutions.

“You know how easy it is in many cases for a prosecutor to get a grand jury to bring an indictment and reliance on the good faith of the prosecutor may not be enough in some cases,” Roberts said at one point.

Alito, a former federal prosecutor himself, invoked the famous saying that grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if a prosecutor asked them to, while pointing to historic examples of Justice Department officials acting criminally in their roles.

Alito also seized on the acknowledgement by Dreeben that some criminal statutes might need to be interpreted differently when applied to former presidents. Alito suggested that going through a trial to settle those questions would be an unfair burden to a former president.

“That may involve great expense, and it may take up a lot of time,” Alito said, “And during the trial, the former president may be unable to engage in other activities that the former president would want to engage in.”


 Underscoring the sweep of Trump’s claims, Sauer said that his client “absolutely” had a right to put forward Republican electors in states that he lost in 2020, commonly called “fake electors.”

He made these comments under questioning from liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who asked if “it’s plausible” that a president might have the right to help create a “fraudulent slate” of electors, which would mean that it would be an official government act that might be covered by immunity.

In response, Sauer said there was historical precedent for presidents to get involved with these matters, pointing to the contested presidential election of 1876, where there were well-founded claims of fraud, and multiple slates of electors in several key states. (Sauer used the term “so-called fraudulent electors.”)

These comments were a remarkable embrace of a plot that many see as a corrupt scheme to overturn the will of the voters. And it’s clear that federal and state prosecutors clearly disagree with Sauer – they consider the Trump campaign’s seven-state ploy to be a criminal scheme.

The Justice Department charged Trump with federal crimes in connection with the fake electors scheme. (He pleaded not guilty.)  Smith’s indictment says Trump “organized fraudulent slates of electors” to “obstruct the certification of the presidential election.”

And state prosecutors in MichiganGeorgiaNevada and Arizona have also charged many of the illegitimate GOP electors and some Trump campaign officials who were involved in the plot.

Arizona prosecutors announced their sweeping indictment Wednesday night, which targeted the electors themselves and members of Trump’s inner circle, including Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani. Michigan investigators also revealed Wednesday that Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in their case.


The arguments about Trump’s immunity claim are over. Now the clock starts ticking.

Even before the justices took their seats Thursday, the high court was facing enormous pressure – particularly from the left – over its slow pace getting to this point. Every day the court doesn’t issue a decision will play into Trump’s strategy of delay, jeopardizing the likelihood that Smith can bring his case to trial before the November election.

The Supreme Court has moved quite quickly in similar high-profile matters in the past. In 1974, for instance, when a unanimous court ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over the tapes of surreptitious recordings he made in the White House, it did so after roughly two weeks after arguments. In another often-cited example, the court decided the Bush v. Gore election dispute in 2000 a day after it heard arguments.

Earlier this year, the justices heard arguments February 8 about whether Trump had disqualified himself from Colorado’s presidential ballot under the 14th Amendment “insurrectionist ban.” It took the justices just under a month to hand down a decision March 4 that concluded he had not.

In the immunity case, the court already helped Trump by denying the special counsel request last December to leapfrog the appeals court and resolve the question quickly. The court’s decision ensured that the original March 4 date for Trump’s Washington, DC, trial would never become a reality.

And yet the court has been particularly slow releasing far more mundane opinions this year. And, critics note, it took more than two weeks for the court to agree to hear the Trump dispute in the first place. While that is remarkably speedy by Supreme Court standards, it is slower than many of the court’s detractors would like.”


Much discussion has occurred by legal analysts on the sure lapse of time  the Supreme Court’s intervention and whether its involvement means that a trial might not be able to take place before the election.  The lapse of time has prompted criticism that the court was playing into Trump’s desire to drag out the process until after the election. Trump’s legal tactics in all his criminal cases has been to try and delay, delay and delay all the trials until after the November election. That would mean in the Federal cases if he were to go to trial and if Trump is convicted after being elected president, he could simply pardon himself.

Simply put, the United States Supreme Court gave Trump the “gift of delay” when they agreed to hear Trump’s claim of immunity in the first place.  The net effect was that the US Supreme Court suspended the proceedings in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s U.S. District Court from February 25, when the appeal was filed, until May 25 when oral arguments were heard.

Now that oral argument has been heard, it is unknown when the Supreme Court will issue its ruling with some hoping that the Supreme Court will issue an opinion in late June before it goes into recess. The Court is typically in recess from late June to early July.  If the Supreme Court waits to issue its ruling until the end of its term in September, then there is no way a trial can occur before the November 5 Presidential election.

If the polls are to be believed, a criminal conviction will persuade a significant number of voters to abandon Trump.  The Supreme Court could have let stand the D.C. Circuit’s thorough, bipartisan opinion stand.  Instead, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case delaying the proceedings almost a full 2 months and who knows how long it will take the court to issue a final opinion on the absolute immunity claim or if it will signal exactly what charges should be dismissed.

There’s plenty of room for debate as to why the court acted as it did by first refusing to expedite the case when Smith originally pushed to have it heard before the Court of Appeals ruled and now after the appellate court ruled. But there’s no doubt about the impact of another delay: No trial until after the election.


No President is above the law, and when they break it, they should be prosecuted. There should be no Trump exception. It’s downright disgusting that the United State Supreme Court has even agreed to hear Trump’s Immunity claim in his federal criminal prosecution. It was a no brainer for the Judge Tanya Chutkan as well as the Court of Appeals. Not so much for a court packed with 4 Trump disciples.

Conservative Republican Associate Supreme Court Justices Neil GorsuchBrett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were all appointed to the United States Supreme Court by former President Donald Trump and for that reason they have a conflict of interest, they cannot be fair and impartial and should have disqualified themselves from hearing and ruling on the case. Republican Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas as well should disqualify himself from deciding the case given that his wife Ginni Thomas supported Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results and attended a rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters.

Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have joined Conservative Republican Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and  Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to marginalize Progressive Democratic Progressive Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan,  Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The 6 appointed Republican Justices have already made a profound difference with their judicial activism over the last 2 years.  At the end of June, 2023, the United State Supreme Court issued 4 major decisions that were highly anticipated and with great concern confirming it has become a far right wing activist court.   The first was the court’s rejecting an attempt to empower legislatures with exclusive authority to redraw congressional districts without court intervention. The second struct down decades of affirmative action in college admissions.  The third ruled that a Christian business owners can discriminate and withhold services to the LGBTQ+ community based on religious grounds.  The fourth invalidated President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief plan. Then there is the matter of the Supreme Court reversing Roe v. Wade and 50 years of precedent and denying a woman’s right to choose an abortion and leaving it up to the state’s.

Conservative Republican Associate Supreme Court Justices Neil GorsuchBrett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are clearly indebted to Trump for their lifetime appointments. Watch as the 3  justices  do whatever they can to delay any ruling until after the presidential  election . Should the country awaken on November  6 to a second Trump presidency, history will reflect  that the Supreme Court has once again played a critical role on deciding who is elected president.


APD Chief Medina In Thick Of 3 Major Scandals In 4 Months; Survives 3 City Council Votes Of No Confidence; Proclaims “Will Play Game Until December 2025” When He Decides To Retire; How Much More Is It Going To Take For City Council To Grow Backbone And Remove Medina As APD Chief For Cause?

During the last 4 months, APD Chief Harold Medina has been in the thicket of  3 major scandals that go directly to his credibility and his mismanagement of APD and he has faced 3 votes of no confidence by the Albuquerque City Council. This blog article is an in depth report of each of the scandals with Analysis and Commentary.


On April 17 a civil lawsuit was filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court by 7 members of the Albuquerque police academy’s training staff who were dismissed from their duties last summer. The 7 plaintiffs who brought the whistleblower complaint made up the academy’s entire training staff and had more than 100 years of combined experience. They are seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress and harm to their reputations. The lawsuit outlines allegations of nepotism and retaliation by leadership within APD, including APD Chief Harold Medina.

The whistleblower complaint centers on a requirement that male cadets shave their heads with a razor daily. One cadet, who is the son of a police commander, was found to have violated the policy and lied to training staff when asked whether he was following through with the practice. The cadet was dismissed from the academy last August following an internal affairs investigation, but the lawsuit alleges the decision was reversed in less than 24 hours. The plaintiffs allege that the commander had intervened on behalf of his son and that the 7 were then dismissed from the academy and reassigned to other positions in the field because they reported the violation.

In a letter to Police Chief Harold Medina, the plaintiffs described an abuse of authority and suggested that the commander’s intervention was inappropriate and nepotistic. In a letter to Chief Medina, the 7 said this:

“We have done nothing wrong. … We have acted to report ethical violations and to protect the public interest in ethically trained law enforcement officials, and we should not suffer retaliation for doing so.”

A month later, APD responded with a notice that an internal investigation would be initiated and it would include possible hazing of a cadet. According to the lawsuit, it was the academy commander who had instructed the training staff to reinstitute “old school” policies and a more “military” style of training at the academy.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos told the Associated Press that the city takes hazing allegations very seriously and said this:

“Those allegations, as well as the allegations in this lawsuit, will be addressed in court.”

The lawsuit alleges that the findings of the internal investigation that followed the cadet being reinstated have yet to be shared with the plaintiffs. It was completed by a third party in December. While the plaintiffs believe it found no evidence of hazing, they were issued reprimands for “unspecified violations” of city policies.

The 7 training staff said they were given no explanation for their removal from the academy or explanation for their reassignments. They stated that the removal of officers from positions for which they apply and are tested, without explanation or notice or opportunity to be heard, is “highly unusual” and a violation of the police department’s collective bargaining agreement.

Albuquerque attorney Levi Monagle, who filed the suit said the 7 officers were unfairly punished for reporting a policy violation to their superiors. Monagle said APD retaliated against the 7 a second time by investigating the officers for hazing after they sent the letter to Chief Medina. It is alleged that the letter sent to Chief Medina was protected by the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act.

Monagle said this:

“Our clients had no role whatsoever in that actual disciplinary decision. …  Their removal from the academy was the first instance of retaliation. … Basically, they feel betrayed by the department. …  I mean [the 7 are saying], everything you taught us to do, everything you trained us to do, went out the window as soon as we reported the wrong person.”

All seven officers remain employed by APD, and three returned to their jobs at the APD Police Academy in January.

The suit, filed against the city of Albuquerque, seeks unspecified damages.

When asked about the whistleblower law suite, APD Chief Harold Medina told one news outlet “there are two sided to every story.”

The links to quoted and relied upon news sources are here:





According to the civil complaint filed, the series of events that form the basis of the lawsuit began August 1, 2023 when a new class of 128 cadets entered the academy, including Joshua Vega, the son of APD Commander George Vega.  Informed sources have confirmed that Commander Vega is a very close personal friend of Chief Medina and the two often go on hunting trips.  Approximately at the same time, Academy Commander Joseph Viers reinstituted an “old school” policy that required cadets to razor-shave their heads every morning.

On August 16, 2023 a training officer noticed that Joshua Vega had not razor-shaved his head for several days. When confronted, Cadet Vega at first maintained that he had shaved his head, but later admitted that he had not, which was considered a “class one” violation of lying, a terminable offense. Viers terminated Vega from the academy on August 17 after an APD Internal Affairs investigation found that Vega had lied to the staff. On the evening of August 16, Commander Vega had a phone conversation with Viers.

On August 18, 2023 following a meeting between Viers and other APD leaders, Viers reversed his decision and reinstated Joshua Vega to the academy. Also on August 18, the 7 academy training officers were called to APD headquarters and informed that they were being removed from the posts at the academy and assigned to other duties. The 7 officers “were given no explanation for their removal from the Academy” according to the suite filed.

On August 24, 2023 the 7 officers sent a letter to Chief  Harold Medina setting out the circumstances of Joshua Vega’s termination and reinstatement.  The letter was attached as and exhibit to the civil complaint.  The letter states in part:

“We believe this reinstatement was effectuated by the direct intervention of his father, Commander George Vega. … The direct intervention of Commander Vega in his son’s departmental disciplinary affairs is completely inappropriate, nepotistic, and constitutes an abuse of authority under New Mexico law.”

The letter alleges that the dismissal of the 7 officers also “would risk compromising the education and eventual certification of the entire cadet class.”  The letter asked Chief Medina to intervene and rescind “this proposed punitive mass-reassignment.”

On September 25, the 7 officers received a letter from Chief Medina notifying them that they were the targets of an investigation into “alleged inappropriate conduct, to possibly include hazing, toward a cadet.”

The suit alleges that a “third-party investigation” by an Albuquerque attorney was concluded in December but never provided to the officers.  The suite contends that the investigation found no evidence of hazing by any of the officers. The lawsuit requests the court to order the city to release the findings of the third-party investigation. All 7  officers “were sent letters issuing them “verbal reprimands” for unspecified violations of city policy.”

Three of the officers who filed the lawsuit, Lisa Neil, Shane Treadaway and Steve Martinez, returned to work at the APD academy in January of this year. The other plaintiffs in the suit are Tillery Stahr, Alix Emrich, James Jacoby and Kelsey Lueckenhoff.

The link to the quoted news source relied upon is here:



It’s been called possibly the biggest corruption case in the Albuquerque Police Department history.  On Friday January 19, it was reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed search warrants and raided 3 homes of Albuquerque Police officers and the home and the law office of prominent DWI criminal defense attorney Thomas Clear, III.  All 6 are allegedly involved in a bribery and conspiracy scheme spanning a decade to dismiss DWI cases.

Chief Medina was Deputy Chief of Field Services who oversaw the DWI unit from 2017 to 2020 before becoming Chief and he says he is unaware of the actions of the officers.  DA Sam Bregman ordered the dismissed 196  DWI cases because of the scandal due to the main witnesses’ credibility being called into question  which in all the  cases are  APD officers.  The Albuquerque Police Department has opened its own criminal investigation with an Internal Affairs investigation of the 5 officers. The 5 cops implicated have been identified as Officers Honorio Alba, Joshua Montaño, Nelson Ortiz, Harvey Johnson and Lt. Justin Hunt.  All 5 police officers resigned from APD after being scheduled for Internal Affairs to be interviewed.  No criminal charges have yet been filed.



On January 22, Chief Harold Medina appeared before the Albuquerque City Council  to brief them to the extent he could on the scandal and said  why he had been tight lipped about the investigation up and until then. Medina told the city council this:

“This is horrible. It was a – it was a violation of trust for victims, a violation of trust for every officer who’s out there doing the right thing.  And we got to make sure we get this right.”

With at least 196 DWI cases dismissed to date, Medina said  he had heard from a number of victims and understands their concerns. Medina  said this:

“I am not okay with these individuals being, uh, let off of their charges, but it is the right thing to do, given the fact that these officers are accused of something that is just despicable.”

Chief Medina  has  told media outlets  he’s been working with the FBI since October 2023, investigating allegations against officers in APD’s DWI unit. That was shortly after he found out the FBI and the Department of Justice  were already looking into similar complaints of misconduct.

 Media told news outlets the federal investigation surrounds accusations of officers being paid to get DWI cases dismissed.  Chief Medina said he could not  get that specific with the federal investigation and but said this:

 “This is a very complex investigation, which is going to involve a lot of parts, a lot of different moving parts within the criminal justice system.  So we’re being very cautious about how we move forward. And I have to respect my partners in this.”

Chief Medina has said APD’s Internal Affairs Unit had given notice to all  5 five officers  that they are under investigation in connection to the scheme. Four were initially place on  paid administrative leave with one reassigned to a different department. All 5 have since resigned after declining to be interviewed by Internal Affairs.

Chief Medina said this about the failure to detect what was going on:

“We’ve identified five ….We don’t know if it’s going to grow further from there. We don’t know where it’s going to grow from there. But we’re currently at five officers. … Not all are currently in the DWI unitOne started there in 2011 meaning this alleged misconduct may go back 13 years. …  I think we’ve got to remember that they got away with it. If it was, if it was occurring, it’s something that’s occurred for over a decade. So obviously they were very good at hiding this. And, we are glad that this administration has been able to bring this to light.

Chief Medina pointed out he views this investigation as proof the current administration is committed to reform. Medina said this:

 I mean, we had [196]  cases dismissed. It’s horrible. So yes, in a way there is a stain on APD, but I think that there is the general public who’s going to realize that leadership is holding individuals accountable. We’re not sweeping anything under the carpet, and we’re making sure that we fully investigate everything to the best of our ability.”


Mayor Keller for his part said this of the scandal:

This investigation involves a handful of long-time officers at APD, going back a decade; if true, what these individuals did is a disgrace to the badge, and erodes faith in law enforcement. APD leadership fully supports this investigation and continues to work with our partners to serve justice. Any individuals who engaged in this conduct will never work for the City again, and should be held accountable to full extent of the law. The department’s willingness to drive accountability, especially on its own, reflects how far we have come.”

 “I do [have confidence in APD]. … [APD] initiated the investigation on this issue independently, before they ever knew there was a federal investigation. I think it speaks to their willingness to hold the department accountable and broadly the cost of progress has shown that, too. They’re doing the right thing in this case, but we have some bad apples, and they need to be held accountable.”

 The link to quoted news sources are here:




On February 17 APD Chief Harold Medina and his wife were in a city unmarked APD truck on their way to a press conference with Mayor Tim Keller. Medina decided to stop and call APD to clear a homeless encampment.  Medina witnessed two people fighting, a gun was pulled and pointed at the Medina’s  and one shot was fired. In response Medina fled from the scene and drove through a red light and he T-boned a 1966 Ford Mustang. Chief Medina admitted he ran a red light, admitted he did not have his lapel camera on. The other driver sustained a broken collarbone, shoulder blade, eight broken ribs, and a collapsed lung and was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he underwent 7 hours of surgery for injuries.

Medina referred the car crash to APD Internal Affairs and the Superintendent of Police Reform Eric Garcia for investigation admitting he did not have his lapel camera on. APD Fatal Crash unit conducted an investigation, prepared a final report and forwarded it to the Crash Review Board.  The report concluded that while Chief Medina “did enter an intersection failing to obey the traffic control devise (sic) without activating his emergency lights and sirens … resulting in a vehicle crash causing injury” all which are violations of APD’s standard operating procedures, the car crash was “non preventable”.  The APD Crash Review Board voted unanimously to deem Medina’s crash “non-preventable.”  APD has now said that Chief Medina will not be charged but he is still under investigation for violations of Standard Operating procedures.


On February 17 during a news conference after the crash, Mayor Tim Keller reacted to the entire incident by heaping highly questionable claims and praises on Chief Medina by saying this in part:

 [Chief Medina is] arguably the most important person right now in these times in our city. … [The shooting incident is an example of] why we are never quitting when it comes to trying to make our city safer. … But it’s hard. It is extremely hard. It affects everyone, including our chief of police on a Saturday morning. … This is actually him on a Saturday morning, disrupting an altercation, a shooting, trying to do what’s right, trying to make sure that folks are okay after on scene. This is above and beyond what you expect from a chief, and I’m grateful for Harold Medina.

 A full week after the crash, Mayor Keller was interviewed and said the driver of the Mustang happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time … and it was also a beautiful gold Mustang.”  


On Tuesday, February 20, Chief Medina did a “Chief’s Corner” video briefing which was sent to all APD personnel.  He announced that it was a “special edition” of his Chief’s corner to discuss the February 17 car crash with APD personnel. Medina said this in part:

“I was the victim of this traffic accident, and it’s a direct impact of what gun violence is doing to our community. And we need to continue to work at it. I did call out I did submit to a drug test, as any officer would.”

Medina said in  the video he thought the oncoming Mustang, would pass through intersection before he got there.  Medina said in his video statement:

“I looked to my left, and the intersection was cleared. … And I thought that the car was going to pass before I got there, and it did not, and unfortunately, I struck a vehicle.”

Chief Medina was not truthful when he said there was no oncoming traffic.  Released  surveillance video shows there was oncoming traffic, he slowly drive between 2 vehicles and then accelerates at a great speed driving through 3 lanes of traffic and t-boning the other vehicle.


There have been 3 attempts by the Albquerquerqu City Council calling for a “vote of no confidence” in Chief Medina and calling for his termination. The most serious attempt was when on February 14 Westside City Councilor Louie Sanchez announced the introduction of a Resolution entitled REMOVING POLICE CHIEF HAROLD MEDINA FOR FAILURE TO LEAD THE ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT”.  A Chief can be terminated with 6 votes by the city council as provided by the City Charter.

The WHEREAS recital provisions of the Resolution identifies numerous and specific instances of mismanagement of APD by Chief Harold Medina as well as the ongoing federal investigation of the APD DWI Unit and the bribery and conspiracy scheme with a prominent criminal defense attorney. Absent from the resolution is any mention of the February 17 vehicle crash where Chief Medina and his wife were in an unmarked APD truck on their way to participate in a press conference with Mayor Keller and when they crashed into and totaled a 1966 Ford Mustang with the driver of the Mustang sent to the hospital in critical condition. Medina has admitted to numerous violations of standard operating procedures and has yet to be cited.

At the April 3 Albuquerque City Council meeting and during the debate on the Resolution, City Councilor Louie Sanchez said this:

“I don’t have confidence that Medina can slow down the drug trafficking in Albuquerque, because he hasn’t. These are over two years. I don’t have confidence in Medina’s subordinates will investigate his accident with total 100-percent transparency… because they work for him.”

After the city council debate, Westside Democrat City Councilor Louie Sanchez moved to withdraw his Resolution calling for a “no confidence” vote in Chief Harold Medina and removing him as APD Chief of Police.  Initially, Sanchez moved that the council defer the vote on the Resolution for 2 weeks to allow him to include information presented during the meeting, but the Council voted 5-4 not defer the resolution.  Whereupon Sanchez moved to withdraw the Resolution in its entirety and the city council then voted unanimously 9-0 in favor of the withdrawal of the Resolution.  Sanchez said this about the withdrawal:

“I know we as city councilors have a lot of other questions that in my opinion have come up. What I heard [during this meeting] is that this needs a little bit more work. … I’m going to withdraw [the Resolution] at this time and work on it a little bit more. Based on that I would like to move that we differ this bill and try to get some of those questions answered.”


A few days before the city council debated and deferred the No Confidence Resolution, Chief Medina ordered all APD sworn and civilian staff to attend personnel meetings where he discussed the “No Confidence Resolution”, the APD bribery and conspiracy scandal to dismiss DWI cases and his February 17 car crash. All the meetings were held at the APD academy. According to sources, 4 meetings were ordered.

KOAT TV Target 7 obtained audio recordings of one of the meetings where Chief Harold Medina talked about the investigations into himself and the department.  During the meeting Chief Medina made highly critical remarks of the city council’s attempts to remove him as Chief. He tells the assembled officers and civilian employees and makes it very clear he has no intent of going anywhere and will remain chief.

Sources have confirmed that Medina refers to himself in the third person and attacks his critics, including city councilors and even bloggers at times individually by name, and says the person “does not like Chief”.

Medina simply does not understand that it’s not an issue of people hating him as an individual, but people taking issue with his  incompetency and what he has done to APD to destroy it. Medina goes so far as to say he intends to remain as Chief until December 2025 when Mayor Tim Keller’s second term.

It’s common knowledge that Mayor Tim Keller is preparing to seek a third term in 2025 and Medina will without a doubt be an issue in the race for Mayor. Mayor Tim Keller has repeatedly gone to the defense of Medina, he says Medina has done a good job and has refused to terminate Medina saying with a straight face that  Chief Medina “is arguably the most important person right now in these times in our city.”

During the meeting KOAT TV reported on, Chief Medina can be heard making comments about the FBI investigation into APD’s DWI Unit. Medina said this:

“We trace it back to some of the people who have resigned who were in DWI in the early 2010s. The ongoing investigation will continue. There’s not widespread corruption within the department.”

Medina mentions concerns regarding the corruption investigation and how it will affect the DOJ consent decree and the federal oversight of the department. Medina says this:

“I worry about some paragraphs in terms of investigation, and we’ll see how this goes. ”

Chief Medina talks about his February 17 car crash. At the meeting are Internal Affairs investigators and Superintendent of Police Reform Eric Garcia.  Some of the Internal Affairs officers in attendance are assigned to investigate whether Chief  Medina violated any policies when he ran a red light and crashed into another car.

Chief Medina tells his audience of rank and file this:

“Once again, one city councilor [known to be City Councilor Louie Sanchez] decides this case should be shipped off to another agency for investigation of the traffic crash. … .  What are they going to discover? That I didn’t cause the accident. Like what is in dispute? We probably will send it off somewhere else so they can look at it, to appease everybody.”

The Chief then criticized the city council, which took a vote of no confidence later that week, saying he will be fine because he plans to retire soon. Medina says this:

“Am I pissed? Yes, I am pissed. But you know what? I’m fine. I’ll go through that tomorrow. I have my plan. They have their plan. We will play this game until December 2025, when I decide to retire.”

Medina then concludes by talking about how  years ago Superintendent of Police Reform Eric Garcia reprimanded him. Garcia was standing next to the chief during the meeting, he did not dispute anything the Chief was saying as if he had no problem with what Medina was saying to APD sworn.  Medina jokes about how Garcia is now the Superintendent of Police Reform and is in charge of disciplining the chief. Medina said this:

“The last person to discipline me was [Eric Garcia]  the day I got promoted to sergeant. Eric Garcia gave me a letter of reprimand as my lieutenant. Thanks, Eric. And hopefully, you will give me that last discipline in the course of my career.”



It is truly amazing and sure arrogance that Chief Medina has made it clear that he is going nowhere and that he and the city councilwill play this game until December 2025, when I decide to retire.”  He clearly believes he is responsible to no one. Simply put, Chief Medina is an “at will” employee who is not protected by the city personnel rules and regulations as all other city employees. Chief Medina can be terminated without any cause at any time and for whatever reasons the Mayor or City Council decide.

There are more than a few reasons APD Chief Harold Medina needs to be terminated for cause. The beleaguered Albuquerque Police department has been grappling with 3 scandalous events that have occurred in the last 4 months all involving Chief Medina directly or indirectly.  All 3 undermine APD’s and APD Chief Medina’s credibility. All three of the scandals has Chief Medina front and center calling into question his management of the department and his judgment and management decisions.


Ever since this scandal broken on January 19 with the execution of the search warrants,  APD Chief Harold  Medina has been in full “politcal  spin cycle” mode of “pivot, deflect, take credit and lay blame” with his interviews. Medina went so far as to blame the Bernalillo County District Attorneys Office and the Public Defenders Office for what happened with the DismissalsMedina takes credit for the investigation and taking action to hold people accountable for the corruption when it was in fact the federal investigation that forced his hand after he allowed the problem to fester.

APD Chief Harold Medina has admitted that the APD bribery and conspiracy scheme has gone on the entire 6 years he has been in charge of APD both as Deputy Chief and now as Chief.  As the Deputy Chief assigned Field Services by Chief Geier, Medina was directly in charge of the APD DWI unit, but Medina failed to detect what was going on with the DWI unit or if he just looked the other way. Medina is known to be a micro manager and it difficult to believe nor understand that at no time did he ever get information regarding the nefarious conduct of the DWI unit.


It is downright laughable that Medina would say about  the car crash he caused “I was the victim of this traffic accident, and it’s a direct impact of what gun violence is doing to our community.” The real victim of the crash caused by Medina is the other driver who sustained a broken collarbone, shoulder blade, eight broken ribs, and a collapsed lung and was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he underwent 7 hours of surgery for his injuries.

Based on all the news accounts and the comments, statements and the admissions against interest and admissions of liability made by Chief Harold Medina, it is clear Medina violated one or more of APD’s Standard Operating Procedures. Medina has his wife in the vehicle as he engaged in a law enforcement call.  Chief Medina has admitted that he did not have his body camera on. Medina has admitted he did not have his police radio on in his truck which is a standard operating procedure violation.  Medina also admitted he did not turn his body camera on in a timely manner which is a violation APD Standard Operating procedures. At no point did Medina have any emergency equipment on during or after the event which is another violation.

It is obscene and an insult to the general public’s intelligence that the APD Crash Review Board voted unanimously to deem Chief Medina’s crash as “non-preventable.” It is an absolute farce that Chief Medina’s car crash that put another driver in the hospital in critical condition was ruled “unavoidable” by APD officers who are under his command. It’s a no brainer that an independent, outside investigation should have been ordered immediately by Mayor Tim Keller and that Medina should have been placed on administrative leave pending that investigation.

Instead, we have a sham of an investigation by police officers who work for Medina and who he is clearly influencing.  Simply put, the crash was  preventable  and could have been avoided by simply stopping at Central, or turning right to go West on Central.  Instead, Medina ran through a red light in a panic and floored the  gas pedal of his vehicle  and went forward.  

The APD Crash Review Board voting unanimously to deem Medina’s crash “non-preventable” is nothing more than a cover up of a preventable accident that gives Chief Medina a defense and APD an excuse not to charge Medina with reckless driving. The finding will allow the City to argue the other driver was contributorily negligent as to crash responsibility.

Any other APD police officer involved in such a crash that caused serious bodily injury to another would have been charged and immediately placed on administrative leave and investigated and perhaps terminated. Any private citizen involved with such an accident would have been charged and arrested and hauled off to jail. APD Chief Harold Medina must be held 100% responsible for the car crash critically injuring another.


The allegations contained in the whistle blower lawsuit are about as damning as it gets. It reflects a level of undue influence and to help the son of Chief Medina’s closes  friend  Commander George Vega.


It is downright obscene that Chief Harold Medina would have mandatory staff meetings to discuss his car crash in front of a captive audience of sworn personnel which included the very Internal Affairs officers who are investigating him as well as the Superintendent of Police Reform Eric Garcia who stood beside the Chief during his comments which was totally inappropriate.

Before a captive audience, it is clear Medina was lobbying both the Internal Affairs Investigators and the Superintendent for Police Reform for a favorable outcome of their investigations. Their presence at the mandatory staff meeting sent the undisputable message to all APD sworn personnel and civilian staff they have the Chief’s back and that the investigations are going nowhere and neither is the Chief.


On April 16, the City’s annual Citizens Satisfaction Survey was released. With respect to APD, Albuquerque Residents gave the APD the following job performance ratings:

  • 60% of city resident’s DISAGREE APD doing a good Job addressing property crime.
  • 56% of city residents DISAGREE APD is doing a good job addressing violent crime.
  • 51% disagree APD is ready to transition away from oversight by the federal government and operate on its own.

Chief Medina must bear the lion’s share of  responsibility for APD’s poor performance in the Citizen Satisfaction Survey.


With all that has been going on with APD over the last 4 months, and considering Chief Medina’s involvement in the 3 scandals, it is difficult to understand why APD Chief Harold Medina is still Chief of Police. How much more proof or evidence is needed for  Democrat City Councilors Klarissa J. Peña, Joaquín Baca, Nichole Rogers and Tammy Fiebelkorn to come to the conclusion that Chief Medina has mismanaged APD and its time for him to go?  Mayor Tim Keller saying  that Chief Medina is “arguably the most important person right now in these times in our city”  is laughable, it does not make it true and reflects a blind loyalty with many wondering why?  The  Albuquerque City Council’s failure to remove Chief Medina given all that has happened over the last 4 months amounts to a dereliction of duty.

City “Citizens Satisfaction Survey” Gut Punch To Mayor Tim Keller As He Plans to Seek 3rd Term; 63% Concerned Over Direction City Is Going; 61% Disagree City Government Is Responsive To Community Needs; 60% Disagree APD Doing Good Job Addressing Property Crime; 56% Disagree APD Doing Good Job Addressing Violent Crime

Each year, the City of Albuquerque commissions a survey to assess residents’ satisfaction with various City services and issues relating to crime, homelessness, and public safety.  The study is required by City ordinance.

On April 16, the results of the annual City of Albuquerque Citizen Perception Survey were released. This year the poll was conducted by Pinion Research.  The findings are from a poll of 400 adults residing within Albuquerque city limits, conducted via landline, cellphone, and text-to-web, from February 26 to February 28, 2024. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% points at the 95% confidence interval.

The five major categories covered by the survey are:

  • Quality of Life
  • Personal Safety
  • City Services
  • Homelessness
  • Direction City Is Going
  • Albuquerque Police Department

 The link to review the entire unedited survey report is here:


This blog article is an edited version of the survey results followed by Analysis and Commentary.


The Survey contains a two sentence Summary that states:

“Most Albuquerque residents feel safe, believe in the work the City of Albuquerque is doing in key areas, and support public safety efforts. At the same time, residents are concerned about the direction of Albuquerque, cost of living, reckless driving and panhandling.”

The survey summary essentially ignores the critical area of resident’s attitudes towards the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and their beliefs that APD is not doing a good job in addressing violent crime and property crime. The summary ignores residents believing that city government is not responsive to resident’s needs.


Overall, 69% of city residents report feeling safe outside in their neighborhoods. There is a notable ethnic divide on feelings of safety. Anglos feel significantly safer at 71% felling safe than Hispanics at 62% safe outside in their neighborhoods. There is also a significant divide in intensity.  36% of Anglos feel very safe while only 20% of Hispanics feel very safe.

A majority of city residents are concerned about the direction of Albuquerque. When asked how they feel about the direction Albuquerque is going in 2024, 31% of surveyed say they are hopeful about the direction of Albuquerque, while 63% report feeling concerned.

This feeling of concern for the direction of Albuquerque crosses demographics. Hispanics and Anglos have similar overall concern about the direction of  Albuquerque.  65% of Hispanics are  concerned  about the direction of the city versus  63% of Anglo  are concerned. However, Hispanics show more intensity in their concern for the direction of Albuquerque with 45% of Hispanic saying they are very concerned versus 35% Anglo saying they are very concerned.  This mirrors sentiment about the direction of the nation with one polling average showing only 23.3% believe the country is headed in the right direction while 66.9% think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Half of city residents feel their personal financial situation has largely stayed the same over the last 6 months. Another 37% report that their personal financial situation has gotten worse over the last six months, while just 12% feel their financial situation has gotten better. During a period where the country is still experiencing inflation, these findings suggest city residents feel that their earnings are not keeping up with cost.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) continues to be the largest funded department budget and it is about a fifth of the total city budget. The proposed Fiscal Year 2025 General Fund budget for the Albuquerque Police Department is $271.5 million, which represents an increase of 5.2% or $13.4 million above the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.  1,840 full time positions will be funded which includes funding for 1,010 sworn police positions. The budget includes funding for 1,010 sworn police officers which is identical to last year. However, the city has yet to hit its goal of 1,000 sworn police with APD going so far as saying the originally proposed 1,100 sworn is unattainable.  APD had 856 sworn officers last year and this year  there are 880 sworn police officers in the department and 50 people are currently going through the police academy.

City Residents are critical of the job the Albuquerque Police Department is doing.

“The majority of city residents DISAGREE that APD is doing a good job addressing violent crime with 39% agreeing it is doing good job and 56% disagreeing they are doing a good job.

The majority of city residents DISAGREE that the APD is doing a good job addressing property crime  with 35% agreeing APD is  doing a good job and 60% disagreeing they are doing a good job.

A slight majority of city residents DISAGREE that “the Albuquerque Police Department is ready to transition away from oversight by the federal government and operate on its own” with 39% agreeing APD is ready to transition away from federal oversight and 51% disagreeing APD is ready to transition away from federal oversight.

In addition to disagreeing with the positive APD statements, most city residents disagree that “The Albuquerque City Government is responsive to our community needs” with 35% agreeing that the Albuquerque City Government is responsive to community needs and 61% disagreeing Albuquerque City Government is responsive to community needs.

Feelings about APD vary by gender.  Men are less likely to agree that the APD is doing a good job addressing violent crime with 32% of men agree versus 46% women agreeing.   Men are less likely to agree that the APD is doing a good job addressing property crime with 24% men agreeing versus  45% women agreeing.  Women are less likely to agree that the APD is ready to operate on its own with 45% men agreeing versus 33% women agreeing.

Speeding and reckless driving is the top issue that affects feelings of safety across demographics. Overall, a whopping 81% of city residents say that speeding and reckless driving affects their feelings of safety at least somewhat, while 43% say it affects their feelings of safety “very much”.

Illegal drug use is the second most significant contributor to safety overall, but edges out speeding and reckless driving in intensity with 45% of city residents saying very much, and a whopping 77% of residents saying very much/somewhat.

Reports of crime and abnormal activity on social media platforms such as NextDoor contribute the least to feelings of safety overall and in intensity with 16% of residents saying very much and 60% of residents saying very much/somewhat.

Outside of public safety and homelessness, top priorities revolve around costs, infrastructure, and the economy. Cost of living, taxes, and fees top the list of priorities that city residents feel are most important for the Albuquerque Mayor and City Council to focus on with 35% of city residents saying it’s the top priority, followed by infrastructure at 33% and growing the local economy at 31%.

While the cost-of-living ranks highly across demographics, Hispanics rank it significantly higher than Anglos with 43% for Hispanics versus 25% for Anglos. Women at 30% and younger citizens at 32% rank programs for youth as a higher priority than men at 20% and older city residents.

City residents feel that all safety proposals presented would be effective in making their neighborhoods safer. More street lighting is seen as being the most effective in terms of intensity with 50% of residents felling it is very effective and 79% feel it is total effective, while being tied with neighbors working together to report crime or suspicious activities as the most effective overall with 41% resident felling it is very effective and 79% feeling it is total effective. Neighbors working together is seen as most effective overall by Hispanics with 84% saying it is total effective while Anglos view street lighting as most effective with 80% saying it is total effective.”


When it comes to the issue of homelessness, a plurality of 23% of city residents feel panhandling impacts them and their family the most.  17% of city residents feel homeless Encampments impacts them and their family the most. Another 19% feel most affected by their access to retail stores, parking lots, and sidewalks.


“Outside of public safety and homelessness, top priorities revolve around costs, infrastructure, and the economy. Cost of living, taxes, and fees top the list of priorities that city residents feel are most important for the Albuquerque Mayor and City Council to focus on with 35% saying it is the top priority, followed by infrastructure at 33% and growing the local economy at 31%.

While the cost-of-living ranks highly across demographics, Hispanics rank cost of living significantly higher at 43% than Anglos at 25%. Women at 30% and younger city resident at 32% rank programs for youth as a higher priority than men  at 20% and older city residents at 15%.”


“Overall, city residents find the City of Albuquerque’s efforts to address the issues of homelessness, the economy, and crime to be more effective than ineffective. Men are less convinced about the effectiveness of programs than women, especially regarding growing the local economy with 54% of men saying the efforts are total effective and  74% women saying they are  total effective.”


“City residents are troubled by the path Albuquerque is on, but they believe in the work the city is doing. The City of Albuquerque can course correct by highlighting the work that is happening and show real results that people see and feel, particularly around the issues of crime, homelessness, reckless driving, and the local economy.”


The Citizens Satisfaction Survey makes the following major recommendations to address city resident concerns:

  • STREETLIGHTS: Highlighting and/or expanding Albuquerque’s system of streetlights could help affect feelings of safety in the city.
  • NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY: Enhance efforts to support community safety programs and emphasize that we all have a role in reducing crime and looking out for one another.
  • POLICE OVERSIGHT: Increase visibility of reform progress and internal oversight mechanisms.
  • RECKLESS DRIVING: Addressing reckless driving could contribute to a greater feeling of safety in Albuquerque. This could mean more reckless driving enforcement and initiatives.
  • GOOD JOBS: Continue efforts to attract new, good-paying jobs to Albuquerque and support local business growth and development. Highlight these efforts publicly whenever possible.
  • HOMELESSNESS: Promote and build on current efforts to create affordable housing and offer the resources needed to put people on a path toward success and reduce panhandling. Additionally, provide resources to restore access to stores, parking lots, and sidewalks.
  • ILLEGAL DRUG USE: Highlight efforts to crackdown on illegal drug trade and illegal drug use. This may also include emphasizing harm reduction efforts and increasing access to drug abuse treatment programs and resources.


The Citizens Satisfaction Survey contained specific questions about the direction the city is going, personal financial situation, and the dedication of city services. Following are the specific questions and the poll results.

Question: How do you feel about the direction Albuquerque is going in 2024?

  • Total Very hopeful: 5%
  • Somewhat hopeful: 26%
  • Somewhat concerned: 24%
  • Very concerned: 39%
  • (Don’t know/refused): 6%
  • Total Hopeful: 31%
  • Total Concerned: 63%
  • Hopeful – Concerned: -32%

Question:  Over the last six months, would you say your personal financial situation has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

  • Gotten better:12%
  • Gotten worse: 37%
  • Stayed the same: 50%
  • Don’t know/refused to answer: 0%
  • Margin of difference between Gotten Better and Gotten Worse:  -25%

Question: The majority of the city budget is dedicated to public safety and addressing homelessness and housing. Aside from these two priorities, what do you feel are the most important priorities for the Albuquerque Mayor and City council to focus on?  

  • Total Cost of living, taxes, and fees: 35%
  • Infrastructure, like road repair and building community centers: 33%
  • Growing the local economy and good jobs: 31%
  • Programs for youth like after school programs, camps, and sports: 24%
  • Services for seniors like hot meals, activities, and transportation: 14%
  • Clean energy and sustainability: 10%
  • Cultural amenities like the arts, libraries, and special events: 8%
  • Parks and open space: 8%
  • Promoting equity, inclusion, and civil rights: 7%
  • Other: 13%
  • Don’t know/refused to answer: 1%

The Citizen Satisfaction Survey outlined factual statements and asked residents to please state if they thought if the statements were an effective way to address the issue in Albuquerque. Following are the statements and the survey results:

“To address housing and homelessness, the City of Albuquerque opened the Gibson Health Hub to provide services to the homeless, is converting hotels into housing, modernized zoning to allow more casitas, and continues to construct new affordable housing”

  • Very Effective: 16%
  • Somewhat Effective: 42%
  • Somewhat Ineffective: 13%
  • Very Ineffective: 25%
  • Don’t Know: 4%

“The City of Albuquerque is growing our local economy by offering job training programs, creating a film school at the Railyards, and bringing green energy and technology companies to Albuquerque.”

  • Very Effective: 20%
  • Somewhat Effective: 45%
  • Somewhat Ineffective: 16%
  • Very Ineffective: 15%
  • Don’t Know:4%

“To ensure our police officers focus on crime, Albuquerque’s Community Safety Department sends public health first responders to non-violent 911 calls for mental health crises and addiction.”

  • Very Effective: 22%
  • Somewhat Effective: 41%
  • Somewhat Ineffective: 15%
  • Very Ineffective: 16%
  • Don’t Know: 6%

Two specific statements were made about the Albuquerque Police Department and city residents were asked to agree or disagree with the statements.  Following are the statements and the survey results:

“The Albuquerque Police Department is doing a good job addressing violent crime.”

  • Strongly Agree: 11%
  • Somewhat Agree: 29%
  • Somewhat Disagree: 26%
  • Strongly Disagree: 30%
  • Don’t Know: 5%
  • TOTAL AGREE: 39%

“The Albuquerque Police Department is doing a good job addressing property crime.”

  • Strongly Agree: 7%
  • Somewhat Agree: 28%
  • Somewhat Disagree: 23%
  • Strongly Disagree: 37%
  • Don’t Know: 5%
  • TOTAL AGREE: 35%

“The Albuquerque Police Department is ready to transition away from oversight by the federal government and operate on its own.”

  • Strongly Agree: 18%
  • Somewhat Agree: 21%
  • Somewhat Disagree: 21%
  • Strongly Disagree: 30%
  • Don’t Know: 10%
  • TOTAL AGREE: 39%


EDITORS NOTE:  On April 1, the Mayor Tim Keller Administration released the proposed city operating budget for fiscal  2025 and submitted it to the Albuquerque City Council for final review and approval. The fiscal year begins July 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2025.The proposed budget is a whopping $1.4 billion budget.  The General Fund Budget, which is funding for the 27 individual city departments, is $845.9 million, an increase of $19.3 million or a 2.3% increase above the 2024 budget. Non-recurring spending will drop from $49.9 million last year to $28.4 million in the proposed budget.  The budget leaves 12% in reserves and a $5 million fund balance. The coming fiscal year’s budget is for 7,015 full time city employees.

The following statement was made regarding Albuquerque City Government responsiveness to community needs and city residents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement:

“The Albuquerque City Government is responsive to our community needs.”

  • Strongly Agree: 7%
  • Somewhat Agree: 28%
  • Somewhat Disagree: 30%
  • Strongly Disagree: 32%
  • Don’t Know: 4%
  • TOTAL AGREE: 35%

Two questions, one on how safe do people feel and one on the unhoused are worth noting:

“In your neighborhood, how safe do you feel being outside?”

  • Very safe: 28%
  • Somewhat safe: 41%
  • Somewhat unsafe: 21%
  • Very unsafe: 10%
  • Don’t know/refused: 1%
  • Total Safe: 69%
  • Total Unsafe: 31%

“When it comes to homelessness, which of these issues impacts you and your family the most?”

  • Panhandling: 23%
  • Encampments: 17%
  • Access to retail stores, parking lots and sidewalks: 19%
  • Not having a stable place to live: 16%
  • Access to parks and playgrounds: 5%
  • Don’t know/refused to answer: 11%

The link to review the entire unedited poll is here:

Click to access albuquerque-yearly-survey-2023.pdf


The Albuquerque Police Department issued the following statement in response to the Citizen’s Satisfaction Survey:

“While officers focus every day on proactive policing and making arrests, these survey results reinforce the public’s desire to engage with APD to make Albuquerque safe for families. We hear from residents that they want a strong police presence and more technology to enforce laws, but they recognize the need for neighbors working together to report crimes and suspicious activity.”

Mayor Tim Keller issued the following statement in response to the Citizen’s Satisfaction Survey:

“The survey affirms what we know to be true: there are real challenges in our community, and our major initiatives have traction and broad public support. By stepping up in tough times and prioritizing investments in public safety, neighborhood enhancements, and programs that bolster our economy, we are working every day to make our city stronger.”

The link to the quoted news source is here:



The Citizens Satisfaction Survey  poll was conducted from  February 26 to February 28, 2024. Before the poll was taken, a major scandal rocked APD and APD Chief Harold Medina was involved in a serious car crash he caused but he has yet to be held accountable for causing the crash. It’s likely both events had no impact on the citizen satisfaction survey results in that the survey did not ask any questions on the overall opinions of APD nor how well people feel about the management of APD and the present condition of the department . Since the poll was taken, another scandal involving APD has been reported where 7 members of the Albuquerque police academy’s training staff are suing the city alleging nepotism and retaliation by leadership within APD, including APD Chief Harold Medina.


On Friday January 19, it was reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed search warrants and raided 3 homes of Albuquerque Police officers and the home and the law office of prominent DWI criminal defense attorney.  All 6 are allegedly involved in a bribery and conspiracy scheme to dismiss DWI cases and the 5 APD officers have resigned. DA Sam Bregman ordered the dismissed 196  DWI cases because of the scandal.  The FBI investigation is ongoing and charges are expected.

On February 17 APD Chief Harold Medina and his wife were in a city unmarked APD truck on their way to a press conference with Mayor Tim Keller and were involved in a crash. Chief Medina admitted he ran a red light and admitted he did not have his lapel camera on. The other driver sustained a broken collarbone, shoulder blade, eight broken ribs, and a collapsed lung and was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he underwent 7 hours of surgery for injuries. APD Fatal Crash unit conducted an investigation, prepared a final report and the report concluded that while Chief Medina “did enter an intersection failing to obey the traffic control devise (sic) without activating his emergency lights and sirens … resulting in a vehicle crash causing injury”  the car crash was “non preventable”.  APD has now said that Chief Medina will not be charged.

On April 17 a civil lawsuit was filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court by 7 members of the Albuquerque police academy’s training staff who were dismissed from their duties last summer. The 7 plaintiffs who brought the whistleblower complaint made up the academy’s entire training staff and had more than 100 years of combined experience. They are seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress and harm to their reputations. The lawsuit outlines allegations of nepotism and retaliation by leadership within APD, including APD Chief Harold Medina. It’s likely this latest scandal involving APD has had a further impact on the departments reputation reducing APD’s approval rating even further.


Despite the unusual positive spin that APD and Mayor Tim Keller have given to  the Citizen Survey results, neither can take much comfort in the results.   To be blunt, the following Citizen Satisfaction Survey results should be considered a gut punch to APD, Chief Harold Medina and Mayor Tim Keller who have placed tremendous emphasis on public safety over the last 6 years:

63% of city residents are concerned over the direction the city is going.

61% DISAGREE Albuquerque City Government is responsive to community needs.

60% of city resident’s DISAGREE APD doing a good Job addressing property crime.

56% of city residents DISAGREE APD is doing a good job addressing violent crime.

51% disagree APD is ready to transition away from oversight by the federal government and operate on its own.


Since being elected in 2013 to his first term, Mayor Keller has made dealing with homeless a major priority. Over the last 3 years, the Keller Administration  spend about  $50  Million a year to deal with the homeless including expanding services and  establishing the 24/7 Gateway Center. The Health, Housing and Homelessness (HHH) Department provides a range of services to the unhoused. The proposed FY/25 General Fund budget for the HHH Department is $52.2 million, which includes $48 million for strategic support, health and human services, affordable housing, mental health services, emergency shelter, homeless support services, Gibson Health HUB operating and substance use services from Family and Community Services Department, and $4.2 million for a move of Gibson Health HUB maintenance division form General Service Department.

Despite all the millions being  spent each year for the last 6 years, the unhoused continue to be a major concern to the public and the crisis appears to be getting worse despite all the efforts and millions spent by the Keller Administration. According to the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, a plurality of 23% of city residents feel panhandling impacts them and their family the most while 17% of city residents feel homeless encampments impacts them and their family the most for a combined total of  40% for two issues where residents feel they and their family are being impacted the most.


It’s regrettable that the Citizens Satisfaction Survey did not contain any line of questioning regarding the public’s opinion on Mayor Tim Keller’s and the City Council’s job performance. Notwithstanding, the fact that 63% of city residents are concerned over the direction the city is going and that 61% DISAGREE Albuquerque City Government is responsive to community needs sends a strong message to Mayor Tim Keller and the City Council that they do not have much of the public’s support.  It is no secret that Mayor Tim Keller is already preparing to run for a third 4-year term.

The Citizen’s Satisfaction Survey can only be considered a red flag that Tim Keller will have an uphill battle if in fact he seeks a third term.

Philip A. Snedeker Seeks NM State Senate District 21 Democratic Nomination; His Strong Law Enforcement Background Is What’s Needed Now In NM State Senate

EDITOR’S DISCLAIMER: The political blog www.petedinelli.com was not compensated for publication of this announcement. The announcement is published as a public service to voters of Senate District 21.

Philip A. Snedeker of Albuquerque is a candidate for Senate District 21. He faces Athena Ann Christodoulou in the June 4 Democratic primary. Republicans Michael Wiener, John C. Morton and Nicole Tobiassen are running in the June 4 Republican primary. Incumbent Republican Mark Moores is not seeking reelection.


On April 11, the Albuquerque Journal Published the following guest column by Philip A. Snedeker entitled Extraordinary Results Require Extraordinary Ideas And Principles:

“My name is Philip A. Snedeker. I am a candidate for the office of New Mexico state senator, Albuquerque District 21. I will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the office in the primary election in June of 2024.

I grew up in southern New Mexico, in the town of Silver City. I attended local area schools. I earned a BA degree in social science, and an MA degree in educational administration, from Western New Mexico University, Silver City, and am a formally trained educator and administrator.

I would bring an extensive 47-year career in law enforcement and criminal justice to the Senate. I began my career in law enforcement as a police officer with the Silver City Police Department while attending college. I subsequently served, for a 10-year period as a New Mexico State Police Officer in the communities of Santa Fe, Farmington and Tucumcari.

I was subsequently elected as a Democrat as the sheriff of Quay County, serving the communities of Tucumcari, San Jon and Logan in eastern New Mexico. I additionally oversaw the operations of the county detention center.

I subsequently served, for a 31-year period, as a certified peace officer, probation and parole officer, and administrator for the Albuquerque Regional Office of the state Probation and Parole Division, serving for an 18-year period as the regional administrator of the District Court Services Office in Albuquerque.

As a lifelong, dedicated public servant with a strong commitment to serving the people of my community, I bring a career in public safety and law enforcement, administration and policy development, and a personal dedication to this community and its constituents.

I have the experience and knowledge necessary to best represent the interests of, and concerns of, our citizens. I will be focused on implementing comprehensive crime and violence reduction measures, and the strengthening and support of our criminal justice system.

I will support changes and modifications to pretrial detention statutes, ensuring violent, repeat, predatory criminals are held in custody, ensuring the safety of our communities and citizens.

I will commit to supporting research-based, focused-deterrence policing strategies, ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens, and the suppression and curtailment of crime.

I will support and advocate for expansion and funding of programs dedicated to alcohol, substance abuse, and mental health treatment.

I will support and advocate for appropriate funding measures for creating economic growth and stability, job creation, and supporting and the improvement of public education.

I will work to properly fund our schools and support increases in teacher salaries, benefits and conditions.

I will provide for the safety of our schools, our teachers and our students, and fund such efforts.

I will advocate and support and provide for our veterans and our elderly.

I will support and advocate for women’s health care issues, and will work diligently for streamlining and reductions in health care costs, for all.

I will work to improve and fund our transportation systems.

I will provide for the care of our environment.

My commitment to Senate District 21 and its citizens is unmatched, and I am professionally prepared to take on the responsibility of serving as state Senator. I am committed to improving the lives of our citizens and moving this Senate District, and New Mexico, to greatness.

I am committed to extraordinary ideas and principles, and as such, we are going to see extraordinary results.”



PHIL SNEDEKER was raised in the southern New Mexico town of Silver City, attending local area schools. He graduated from Western New Mexico University, in Silver City, with a B.A. Degree in Social Science, and subsequently earned a M.A. Degree, in Educational Administration.

Snedeker has dedicated his 47-year career to public service, most recently serving for the State of New Mexico Probation and Parole Division. Snedeker began his career as a police officer with the Silver City Police Department while attending college. After graduating college, Snedeker served as a New Mexico State Police Officer for 10 years in the communities of Santa Fe, Farmington, and Tucumcari.

For the last 31 years, Snedeker served as a certified peace officer, as a probation and parole officer, and administrator, for the State of New Mexico, Albuquerque Regional Office, Probation and Parole Division. This included 13 years as the Divisional Administrator of the District Office in Los Lunas, NM and 15 years as a Divisional Administrator of the District Office and District Court Services Offices in Albuquerque.

Snedeker then ran, and was elected, Sheriff of Quay County, serving the communities of Tucumcari, San Jon, and Logan, in eastern New Mexico. In addition to being the chief executive of the Sheriff’s Department, Snedeker oversaw the operations of the county detention center.  In 2022, Phil Snedeker ran for Bernalillo County Sherriff with Democrat John Allen elected.


For the past 5 years, New Mexico’s high crime rates have been front and center in the New Mexico Legislature. Hot button legislation has been introduced, but has not been enacted.  Issues such as the banning of assault weapons, pretrial detention to create a rebuttable presumption for persons charged with serious violent crimes, gun purchase waiting periods,  age restrictions on the purchase of  guns, increasing penalties for violent crimes, updating criminal laws, creation of new laws such as prohibiting hazing, and requiring back ground checks and criminal justice reform efforts have all been subject of legislation that has failed. Governor Lujan Grisham has now called for a Special Session in July that will deal exclusively with public safety.

PHIL SNEDEKER will provide a level of expertise in law enforcement that is sorely needed in the New Mexico Legislature to deal with many of the issues facing New Mexico residents. PHIL SNEDEKER’s background and expertise makes him the most qualified of all 5 of the candidates running for State Senate District 21 and voters are encouraged to vote for him in the June primary and the November general election.

Search Light New Mexico Article: “Can The Albuquerque Police Department ever be reformed?”; APD Ranks #1 In Civilian Killings Out Of The 50 Largest City Police Departments In The Country; APD Killing More People Than Ever Despite Implementation Of Reforms

On November 14, 2014, the City of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and the United State Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a stipulated Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). The settlement was the result of an 18-month long investigation by the DOJ that found that APD engaged in an pattern of “excessive use of force” and “deadly force”, especially when dealing with the mentally ill. The DOJ investigation also found a “culture of aggression” existed within the APD.

The Court Approved Settlement Agreement mandates 271 police reforms, the appointment of a Federal Monitor and the filing of Independent Monitor’s reports (IMRs). There are 276 paragraphs in 10 sections within the CASA with measurable requirements that the monitor reports on. Eighteen Federal Monitors reports to date have been filed.

Under the terms and conditions of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA), once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in the 3 identified compliance levels and maintains them for 2 consecutive years, the case can be dismissed. Originally, APD was to have come into compliance within 4 years and the case was to be dismissed in 2020.

The link to the 118-page CASA is here:



Searchlight New Mexico is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that seeks to empower New Mexicans to demand honest and effective public policy. Its Mission Statement is “investigative and public service journalism in the interest of the people of New Mexico and to deliver high-impact investigative reporting to inspire New Mexicans to demand action on systemic problems that plague our state.” The publication stands for the proposition that great reporting can motivate all New Mexicans to confront racial and economic inequities, government corruption and negligence, and abuses of power.

The links for more information on Searchlight New Mexico are here:





Searchlight New Mexico is on Twitter and FACEBOOK @SearchlightNM (Twitter) and/or @SearchlightNewMexico (Facebook).

On April 10, Searchlight New Mexico published a remarkable story written by staff reporter Josh Bowling. The article asks and, in many respects, answers the question “Can the Albuquerque Police Department ever be reformed?” Following is the Search Light New Mexico article followed by  www.PeteDinelli.com Commentary and Analysis.

SEARCHLIGHT NEW MEXICO HEADLINE: Can the Albuquerque Police Department ever be reformed?

Despite 10 years of federal oversight, Albuquerque police are killing more people than ever.

by Joshua Bowling, Searchlight New Mexico, April 10, 2024

“In the past decade, reforming the Albuquerque Police Department has cost nearly $40 million and generated 5,600 pages of oversight reports under the federal government’s effort to address the force’s excessive violence.

But what does the city have to show for it? While the department touts an internal culture change, mandatory body cameras and a slew of other reforms, its officers continue to kill residents at an outsized rate.

Even as APD has moved into compliance with nearly every reform mandated by a U.S. Department of Justice consent decree, nothing has rectified the department’s most glaring problem: the fact that it has more police shootings now than ever.

Though the federal government’s oversight appears to be on the verge of ending, Albuquerque police continue to kill people at a higher rate than any other police force in the country. In 2014, when the DOJ issued its consent decree, city police were involved in nine shootings. Last year, the department logged 13 shootings — a 44%  increase in a city of 561,000 people.

“How the hell do we have more shootings than we did before they came here?” asked Shaun Willoughby, a patrol officer and president of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association. “You absolutely did not get what you paid for.”

The man who has arguably benefitted the most from the consent decree is its independent monitor, James Ginger, who has collected more than $12 million since he took the job in early 2015, according to city invoices.

At the time, Ginger pledged to move to Albuquerque and open an office with a “hot-line and walk-in system” for people with “comments, compliments and concerns” regarding APD. Court documents show he estimated the reform effort would take four years and cost $4.5 million.

A Searchlight New Mexico investigation found that his lucrative post has lasted more than twice that long and cost the city nearly three times his original estimate. Meanwhile, Ginger has rarely been seen in Albuquerque and, according to his official resume, lives in South Carolina.

It’s hard to know exactly where he lives as details are hard to come by. Ginger has repeatedly refused to be interviewed for this story. Searchlight emailed him six times and visited his locked Albuquerque office twice within the course of a month to ask questions and request a sit-down meeting; he did not respond other than to acknowledge that his website was out of date and to explain why his office hours changed frequently. Calls to his cell phone were ignored; the staff in his Albuquerque office refused to talk when reached by phone and in person.

“I am completely occupied,” he wrote in a March email to Searchlight, referring to work on his next APD compliance report. “I am officially a ‘no comment.’”

His office only updated the reports on its website after Searchlight asked why the page was two years out of date.

The office itself is tucked away in a nondescript building just a few blocks south of the downtown Rail Runner train station, on 4th Street SW. It is locked from the inside, preventing anyone from entering without being granted access by a staffer. Its windows and doors are blacked out. The office hours displayed on its website, abqmonitor.org, change routinely, sometimes on a daily basis, making it difficult or impossible for citizens to know how or when to visit (in one of the only emailed comments he offered to Searchlight, Ginger said that no one has ever complained). The building’s scant signage identifies it as the Area Agency on Aging, with no visible indication that a police monitoring office is inside.

On multiple occasions, people who identified themselves only by their first names answered the locked door for a Searchlight reporter. They said they worked for Ginger and that he had given them orders not to speak to the press.

One of those people identified himself only as an assistant monitor named Eric; when asked how often Ginger was on the premises, he shut the door and locked it. The online staff directory for the office does not list anyone named Eric, and APD Chief Harold Medina said he has never known anyone by that name to work for Ginger.”


“Whether or not the consent decree has reduced the APD’s deadly use of force, the federal government has largely let go of the reins in recent years. In 2022, the DOJ announced it would allow Albuquerque to monitor much of its own progress. That was largely due to the department meeting a majority of DOJ goals: equipping officers with body cameras, providing more extensive training, tracking every instance in which they fired a weapon and prohibiting them from firing a gun from inside a moving vehicle.

But for every reform codified in department policy and for every city press conference praising the police force’s new compliance, police killings persisted.

Last year, APD killed 10.6 people per million residents — more than any other sizable police department in the nation, according to data tracked by the national nonprofit Mapping Police Violence.

In 2022, the department set a record for police shootings with 18, 10 of which were fatal. That year, a Searchlight analysis found, only the police departments in Los Angeles, New York and Houston killed more people than APD.

Law enforcement officials, including police leaders and district attorneys, say such figures are nuanced. They point to the acute dearth of mental health resources in New Mexico and, anecdotally, stories of people who draw guns on police officers as explanations for why the problem of police violence is so outsized locally.”

DINELLI EDITOR’S NOTE: The Search Light New Mexico article contains a horizontal graph listing the 50 largest cities in the United States. According to the graph, among the 50 largest cities, Albuquerque Police killed people at the highest rate than all the other city police departments in 2023  at the rate of  10.6 per 1 Million population. It is worth comparing Albuquerque’s 10.6 kill rate to the largest cities in the surrounding border states of Texas, Colorado, Arizona and also including Oklahoma and Nevada:

  • Albuquerque, NM: 10.6
  • San Antonio, Texas:  9.8
  • Phoenix, Arizona: 8.7
  • Austin, Texas: 7.3
  • Denver, Colorado: 5.6
  • Tucson, Arizona: 5.5
  • Fort Worth, Texas: 5.4
  • Houston, Texas: 5.2
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: 4.2
  • Dallas, Texas: 3.1
  • El Paso, Texas: 2.9
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: 2.6
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 2.0

“In the past four years, Albuquerque police repeatedly shot people who were suffering visible mental health crises. They shot 26-year-old Max Mitnik in the head during a “schizoaffective episode” in which he asked officers to fire their weapons at him; they shot and killed 52-year-old Valente Acosta-Bustillos who swung a shovel at officers and told them to shoot him; they shot and killed 33-year-old Collin Neztsosie while he was on his cell phone, pleading for help with a 911 dispatcher.

These grim numbers have led reform advocates, critics and law enforcement leaders themselves to question what it means to be “in compliance.”

“You can improve things on paper or comply with the terms of a consent decree and still have these things happening,” said UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz, author of the 2023 book Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable.”

“Albuquerque is a prime place to be asking the questions…about what impact consent decrees have,” Schwartz said. The city should be ground zero for the national conversation on police reform, she and others believe.

This is not to say that the consent decree has been without merit. The 2014 Court-Approved Settlement Agreement between the DOJ and Albuquerque laid out nearly 300 mandated reforms: Since its launch, APD has fulfilled hundreds of reform requirements, including overhauling scores of policies and training procedures.”


The Search Light New Mexico article contains the following side bar summary insert:

The 2014 consent decree was meant to be “Policing 101,” according to the people who crafted it. It demanded that APD:

  • Rectify excessive use of force
  • Outfit specialized tactical and investigative units 
  • Train officers in crisis intervention
  • Have a process to investigate allegations of misconduct
  • Overhaul department policies and training
  • Boost staffing, management and supervision
  • Improve processes for recruitment and promotions
  • Establish mechanisms for officer assistance and support
  • Establish community engagement and oversight

“Each mandated reform bears three benchmarks — primary compliance, secondary compliance and operational compliance — and once the APD reaches 100%  compliance with all three benchmarks on every reform, the consent decree will draw to a close. As of Ginger’s latest progress report, filed in November, the department stands at 100 percent for primary compliance — meaning it has implemented policies and procedures in line with national best practices. According to Ginger’s reports, the department has also achieved 99% secondary compliance — meaning it has trained staff in those best practices — and 94% operational compliance, regarding its day-to-day implementation of the best practices.”


“Once the consent decree was handed down, authorities had to find an objective third party to monitor APD’s progress in complying with the court-mandated reforms. Several people, including police authorities and reform advocates, recall being impressed with James Ginger’s credentials. He had overseen two previous consent decrees, including the first of its kind in Pittsburgh, in 1997 and the other in New Jersey, in 2000. He had also consulted with the Los Angeles Police Department, known for its chronic issues with excessive violence.

“He brought a reputation of being extremely rigorous, extremely detailed, unrelenting in holding the line on accountability,” recalled Peter Simonson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico. “I’m sure folks have things to say about Ginger that they never liked, but I felt like, by and large, he played that role. He was calling balls and strikes as he saw them, no matter whether APD liked it or not.”

While Ginger had a reputation for reform and a wealth of experience in policing and academia, he also became known for keeping a low profile and shying away from interactions with the greater community, other observers said.

“I may have seen him once or twice [in recent years],” said Damon Martinez, the former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, who helped shape and implement the consent decree before resigning in 2017. As Martinez recalled it, Ginger walked “on the other side of the street” so they wouldn’t cross paths, going out of his way to avoid him.”


“In late 2015, Ginger addressed a packed room at an Albuquerque town hall meeting where residents peppered him with questions about his nearly $1.5 million salary. As one man in the crowd interrupted him with a question about accountability, Ginger called for security, according to news reports. Then, as things simmered down, he made a promise.

“This is top secret,” Ginger said, according to local NPR affiliate KUNM. “Come December, I’ll be living here, so no more flying back and forth.”

Such a move would have made sense. In Ginger’s original terms of employment, he’d estimated that the Albuquerque assignment would require 800 “on-site” days over four years.

Two years later, in 2017, a bipartisan minority on the Albuquerque City Council checked him on his math. When three city councilors ran the numbers, they found he’d spent an average of 42 days per year in Albuquerque — hardly the 200 days, as originally proposed.

“He rented an office here and he was never there. Nobody held him accountable,” former City Councilor Brad Winter recalled. “He was getting paid, and nobody was monitoring the monitor.”

The costs don’t stop with the $12 million in checks that Albuquerque has made out to Ginger. Medina, the APD chief, estimated that his department has spent an additional $25 million — on everything from body cameras to training — in efforts to comply with the consent decree. In 10 years, APD’s annual budget has ballooned from $163 million to nearly $268 million.”


“From the start, the demand for reform was sparked by the 2014 killing of James Boyd, a homeless man with schizophrenia who was camping in the Sandia Foothills. Boyd did not have a gun, a review of his belongings at a subsequent trial showed, but was instead carrying three knives, an empty can of mace, multiple Bibles and a handful of dollar bills.

Almost immediately, large protests erupted in downtown Albuquerque over the killing. The next month, the DOJ released a blistering 46-page report that accused the police department of employing an “overwhelming pattern of unconstitutional use of deadly force.” City officials signed the consent decree in the report’s wake, setting in motion the next decade of federal oversight. 

Some reforms took hold almost immediately after the report dropped. The Bernalillo County District Attorney charged Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez with murder and manslaughter for killing Boyd.

Body cameras were mandated for every sworn APD officer with a badge and a gun.

Internally, things were changing. The department disbanded its Repeat Offender Project, which some today liken to a police gang. The highly controversial unit focused on “career criminals” and used a hangman’s noose as its logo. Sandy, one of the officers who killed Boyd, was a member of the ROP unit.

Department leaders say the consent decree brought about a culture change as well. Issues can’t be swept under the rug anymore, they say, because there are more eyes than ever on police conduct in Albuquerque.

“We terminate more people than ever before,” Medina, the police chief, said in an interview. “These things have always happened. They were just dealt with differently.”

Reform advocates, for their part, contend that such a “culture change” has not been as far-reaching as the department claims. In recent months, an FBI investigation into the department spilled into public view. Officers were investigated for allegedly taking bribes to get DWI cases dismissed from court. The ongoing scandal has led to the resignation of five officers to date.”


“In the history of American policing, consent decrees are a relatively new invention.

The need for enforceable reform became clear in early 1991 as the nation watched televised footage of Los Angeles police officers brutally beating Rodney King, an unarmed Black man whom they accused of driving while intoxicated. If the LAPD couldn’t reform itself, members of Congress announced they’d draft legislation to let the DOJ step in and order reforms.

Lawmakers inserted two small paragraphs, known as Section 14141, into the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. The new provision made it illegal for law enforcement officers to engage in a “pattern or practice” that deprived people of their constitutional rights, privileges or immunities. If a police department violated the provision, the U.S. Attorney General could intervene and right the ship.

In 1997, the DOJ found its first test case in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, a department that was criticized for unlawful traffic stops and police violence.

In some ways, launching the Pittsburgh decree was a symbolic move: The city’s police union is the oldest in the nation. After five years of federal oversight, the department improved its civilian complaint system and adopted one of the nation’s first “early warning” systems, letting supervisors track which officers exhibited problematic behavior in the field.

Since then, consent decrees have ebbed and flowed with the political tides. George W. Bush campaigned on a promise, which he kept, not to institute a single consent decree: The DOJ was unnecessarily “second-guessing” local law enforcement agencies, he said in 2000.

Barack Obama’s administration, on the other hand, dispatched DOJ investigators across the country at unprecedented levels. Many of the now-active decrees, including Albuquerque’s, date back to his administration.

Perhaps the most visible differences between the early consent decrees and today’s are found in the documents themselves. Pittsburgh’s 1997 decree was a mere 18 pages long; Albuquerque’s sprawls over more than 100 pages.

Across the country, 13 other municipal police departments or county sheriff’s offices — including in Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore — are currently working under consent decrees to address police abuses, lack of training and deficient mental health care in jails, among other issues.

Experts believe the consent decree is one of the government’s best tools to reform problematic police departments. But they’re not a permanent fix.

“The problem with police departments is that you are not dealing with one bad apple or a couple of bad apples. They are problems of systems,” said David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who has studied the history of consent decrees.

In Pittsburgh, he said, “there did seem to be real promise of change. And some things did, in fact, change. But it didn’t stick in the long run.”


“If APD continues to shoot and kill record numbers of civilians while it stands at near-total compliance, what will “life after DOJ,” as  [APD Chief] Medina put it, look like?

Medina and Simonson of the ACLU have both expressed a desire to retain some form of oversight after the consent decree ends. Medina also envisions a new training academy for internal affairs investigators.

“I want to build something that’s going to outlast me,” Medina, who plans to retire in late 2025, told Searchlight. The department, he said, needs to be “vigilant” about maintaining what it’s achieved.

To reform advocates like Simonson, though, such progress has been too little too late. “The fact that we’ve had to invest so much money in Albuquerque for such limited results is in large part a consequence of what policing is in this country,” he said. “We know what some of the ingredients are, but we don’t really have the recipe yet to fully bake a constitutional, professional and community-safe police force.”

Both see a need to stop sending armed officers to the scenes of 911 calls for mental health crises. In 2020, Albuquerque launched a formal push to do just this, though responders and families of police violence victims have criticized the rollout.

The next independent monitor’s report, which will provide updated numbers on APD’s compliance levels, is expected to be published in the coming months. Medina aspires to have the consent decree wrapped up by the end of 2025.

Ginger’s contract, meanwhile, is set to expire at the end of June. It will likely be renewed and net him another million if the effort follows Medina’s timetable.”

The link to read the full, unedited Searchlight New Mexico article with photos and graphs is here:



On November 16 , 2023, it was  a full 9 years that has expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. It was originally agreed that implementation of all the settlement terms would be completed within 4 years.  Because of previous delay and obstruction tactics found by the Federal Monitor by APD management and the police officer’s union as well as APD backsliding in implementing the reforms, it has taken 5 additional  years.

Albuquerque’s consent decree is somewhat unique to all the other 13 consent decrees. A number of those consent decrees deal with police departments that engaged in racial profiling. The Department of Justice investigation found that APD had engaged in a pattern of “excessive use of force and deadly force” and that there existed a “culture of aggression”. The federal investigation found that there was a disproportionate number of people who were mentally ill who fell victim to APD’s excessive use of force and deadly force and that APD officers were not sufficiently trained in de-escalation tactics when dealing with the mentally ill who were suffering from psychotic episodes.


The major reforms achieved under the CASA can be identified and are as follows:

  1. New “use of force” and “use of deadly force” policies have been written, implemented and all APD sworn have received training on the policies.
  2. All sworn police officers have received crisis management intervention training.
  3. APD has created a “Use of Force Review Board” that oversees all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force.
  4. The Internal Affairs Unit has been divided into two sections, one dealing with general complaints and the other dealing with use of force incidents.
  5. Sweeping changes ranging from APD’s SWAT team protocols, to banning choke-holds, to auditing the use of every Taser carried by officers and re-writing and implementation of new use of force and deadly force policies have been completed.
  6. “Constitutional policing” practices and methods, and mandatory crisis intervention techniques an de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill have been implemented at the APD police academy with all sworn police also receiving the training.
  7. APD has adopted a new system to hold officers and supervisors accountable for all use of force incidents with personnel procedures implemented detailing how use of force cases are investigated.
  8. APD has revised and updated its policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all sworn police officers.
  9. The Repeat Offenders Project, known as ROP, has been abolished.
  10. Civilian Police Oversight Agency has been created, funded, fully staffed and a director was hired.
  11. The Community Policing Counsels (CPCs) have been created in all area commands.
  12. The Mental Health Advisory Committee has been implemented.
  13. The External Force Investigation Team (EFIT) was created and is training the Internal Affairs Force Division on how to investigate use-of-force cases, making sure they meet deadlines and follow procedures.
  14. Millions have been spent each year on new programs and training of new cadets and police officers on constitutional policing practices.
  15. APD officers are routinely found using less force than they were before and well documented use of force investigations are now being produced in a timely manner.
  16. APD has assumed the self-monitoring of at least 25% of the CASA reforms and is likely capable of assuming more.
  17. The APD Compliance Bureau has been fully operational and staffed with many positions created dealing directly with all the reform efforts and all the duties and responsibilities that come with self-assessment.
  18. APD has attained a 100% Primary Compliance rate, a 99% Secondary Compliance rate and a 92% Operational Compliance rate.


It was in 2022 that there were more APD police officer shooting than during any other year before.  In 2022, there were 18 APD Police Officer involved shootings,10 of which were fatal.  In 2021 there were 10, four of which were fatal.

A review of shootings by APD police officers between 2018 and 2022 identified three common circumstances:

  1. When officers are attempting to apprehend violent suspects;
  2. When individuals are experiencing some kind of mental health episode;
  3. When people with little criminal history are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and make bad decisions.

In 2022, the Albuquerque Police Department released data that showed there had been 54 police shootings dating back to 2018. Of the cases reviewed, 85% involved people who were armed with a gun or a weapon that appeared to be a firearm.  About 55% of the cases involved people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while only 2 cases in which intoxication did not play a role. Without toxicology tests, it was unknown whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the remainder of the cases.  Statewide, authorities said the number of shootings in which officers opened fire stands at 50 for the year.

Barron Jones, a member of APD Forward and a senior policy strategist with the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico, said that more transparency is needed to better understand what, if anything, could be done to prevent shooting deaths at the hands of officers. Jones also said there is  the need for a statewide use-of-force policy that includes clear, consistent protocols for deescalating interactions with the public “to avoid these kinds of tragic incidents.”

The link to the quoted news source article is here:


On December 6, 2022  the spike in APD shootings dominated the hearing on the Federal Monitors 16th progress report.  (A total of 18 to date have been filed.) The increase in APD police officer shootings overshadowed the report on APD’s progress with the reforms and dominated the day long hearing.

Alexander Uballez, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, said this about the shootings:

“[My job]  will not be complete until there’s a substantial reduction in police shootings and fatalities.”

Paul Killebrew, the deputy chief of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, acknowledged frustrations.  He said that the DOJ wants to see how the city, APD,  the Civilian Police Oversight Agency, the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee, and the Force Review Board  respond to the spike.   Killebrew said this:

“The increase in officer involved shootings is unacceptable. … You see a spike in officer involved shootings and it feels like we’ve set back the clock by 10 years. … It’s clear from what we’ve heard today that it is inconsistent with the community’s values. … So we need to see action from the Albuquerque Police Department and from the groups [responsible to oversee APD] . From where we sit this is an ongoing crisis. This is an ongoing problem.”

APD Forward includes upwards of 20 organizations who have affiliated with each other in an effort to reform APD and implement the DOJ consent decree terms and reforms. Daniel Williams of APD Forward sad  that members of his group had been hoping to hear “concrete actionable steps that the city has taken” to address the increase in shootings by officers but were disappointed.

Taylor Rahn, an attorney on contract with the city to assist with implementation of the CASA, urged the court and the public to wait before passing judgment and said this:

“We recognize that concerns about the number of individuals who are suffering from some type of mental health issue during the use of force encounter is a pattern that the community is concerned about… The city will not jump to any conclusions and will allow all of the processes that are in place for independent review of individual incidents, officers and patterns to run their course.”

Police Chief Harold Medina pointed out that the settlement agreement is meant to assess whether policies are in place to reduce an officer’s likelihood of using deadly force, whether officers are trained in those policies and whether they are being held accountable when they violate them.  Medina told the court:

“We will never 100% take out human errors, and we will always have officer misconduct. … This process was started for us to identify the officer misconduct and address the misconduct. … I don’t know if there’s ever been a period of time before in the Albuquerque Police Department when individuals were held as accountable. We will continue to hold individuals accountable. We will continue to monitor our policies. We will continue to monitor our training.”

The link to quoted news source material is here: