On April 3 City Council Will Vote On Resolution Of No Confidence To Remove APD Chief Harold Medina; Attend Council Meeting Or Contact Your City Councilor And Tell Them To Vote YES To Remove APD Chief Harold Medina

On Wednesday, April 3, the Albuquerque City Council will be voting on a City Council Resolution to remove and terminate APD Chief Harold Medina for cause. The resolution is sponsored by Westside City Councilor Louie Sanchez.  The Resolution was introduced on February 19.  On March 12, the Resolution PASSED the City Council Finance and Government Operations Committee on a 3 to 2 vote and forwarded on to the full City Council for a final vote.  Democrat Committee Chairman Louie Sanchez, Republican City Council President Dan Lewis and Republican City Councilor Dan Champine voting YES.  Democrats City Councilor Klarissa Pena and Tammy Feibelkorn voted NO. Five YES votes are needed for the Resolution to pass on April 3.  6 Yes votes will be needed to override an expected veto by Mayor Tim Keller.

The WHEREAS recital provisions of the Resolution identify numerous and specific instance 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.

Following is the city council resolution as introduced:



WHEREAS, Harold Medina is the Chief of the Albuquerque Police Department (“APD”); and

WHEREAS, when Medina was appointed to his position, it was due to the abrupt departure of the previous Chief; and

WHEREAS, effective leadership of the Albuquerque Police Department is critical to the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the City of Albuquerque; and

WHEREAS, a federal investigation into multiple APD officers has resulted in the dismissal of more than 150 active DWI cases; and

WHEREAS, this investigation appears to show unchecked corruption within the Department; and

WHEREAS, these allegations of widespread corrupt actions by APD officers undermines the confidence of the community in the entire department; and

WHEREAS, the profound lack of leadership, which allowed such corrupt activities to transpire, unfairly tarnishes the reputation of upstanding officers, who through no fault of their own are associated with this terrible behavior; and

WHEREAS, Medina’s mismanagement of the Albuquerque Police Department is evidenced by numerous tragedies and scandals, such as:

  1. A police cadet was killed in a murder-suicide following reports of an affair taking place during her training at the police academy that APD was aware of;
  2. An academy class where seasoned instructors were moved because the son of a deputy chief attending the academy faced termination for untruthfulness;
  3. APD’s Gang Unit was all but dissolved along with critical units such as the Narcotics and Vice units;
  4. Record numbers of officers have resigned or retired, leaving the Department dangerously shorthanded;
  5. Increased officer terminations;
  6. Increased officer-involved shootings at the highest number in decades, if not in APD’s history;
  7. Increased response times for 911 calls with some callers holding for hours while hundreds more calls sit unanswered; and
  8. The highest number of homicides in two recent years with at least 328 people murdered on the streets of the City; and
  9. At least two lawsuits pending against the City and APD, each claiming the wrongful death of family members who suffered from mental illness.

WHEREAS, these tragedies reflect serious failures in leadership and an institution in dire need of intervention; and

WHEREAS, Medina’s conduct is inconsistent with the requirements of his position as Chief of Police and his responsibilities and obligations to the City and its residents; and

WHEREAS, Medina’s conduct threatens the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of the City of Albuquerque; and

WHEREAS, while the City Council has expressed concerns on numerous occasions about the leadership of the Department, there has been no apparent improvement in the administration of APD; and

WHEREAS, Pursuant to Article 5, Section 4(d)(1) of the Charter of the City of Albuquerque, “[t]he Police Chief . . . may be removed for cause by a vote of two-thirds of the entire membership of the Council.”; and

WHEREAS, Chief Harold Medina’s failure to lead the Albuquerque Police Department constitutes cause for removal.


SECTION 1. Harold Medina is hereby removed from his position as Chief of the Albuquerque Police Department.

SECTION 2.  SEVERABILITY. If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, word or phrase of this Resolution is for any reason held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Resolution.

The Council hereby declares that it would have passed this Resolution and each section, paragraph, sentence, clause, word or phrase thereof irrespective of any provision being declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The above Resolution is subject to possible additions, deletions, modifications and amendments as deemed necessary by its sponsor City Councilor Loui Sanchez and other city councilors and the city council as a whole.


It is article V. Section 4, of the Albuquerque City Charter which outlines the duties and responsibilities of the mayor and the appointment and the removal the Chief Administrative Officer, Deputy Administrative Officers, the Chief of Police, and the Fire Chief.

Section 4 of the City Charter entitled DUTIES OF THE MAYOR provides as follows .

“The Mayor shall:

 Organize the executive branch of the city;

    (b)   Exercise administrative control and supervision over and appoint directors of all city departments, which appointments shall not require the advice or consent of the Council except as provided in (d) of this Section;

   (c)   Be responsible for the administration and protection of the merit system;

    (d)   With the advice and consent of the Council, appoint the Chief Administrative Officer, any deputy administrative officers, the Chief of Police, and the Fire Chief. Appointees requiring the advice and consent of the Council shall be presented to the Council for confirmation within 45 days after the Mayor takes office or after a vacant appointed position is filled. When an appointee is presented to and not confirmed by the Council, the Mayor shall, within 60 days thereafter, nominate another person to fill the position, and the Mayor may continue to nominate until confirmation;

1.   The Police Chief or Fire Chief may be removed for cause by a vote of two-thirds of the entire membership of the Council.

The link to review the City Charter is here:



The Resolution to remove and terminate Chief Medina is a natural extension and exercise of the Albuquerque City Council’s oversight authority over APD as well as the Chief of Police. The DWI dismissal and bribery scandal as well as Chief Medina’s February 17 car crash should be more than enough for the termination of Chief Harold Medina. However, the city council has thus far resisted twice any attempts to remove him and  Mayor Tim Keller as expressed complete confidence in Medina and even praised his work in a news conference the day Medina and his wife were in a vehicle crash with another.


On January 19 the FBI raided the homes of three APD police officers and the office DWI defense attorney Thomas Clear III who are allegedly involved in a bribery and conspiracy scheme spanning a decade to dismiss DWI cases. Five cops, including one lieutenant, have been implicated. District Attorney Sam Bregman ordered 198 DWI cases dismissed because of the scandal. No criminal charges have been filed and the FBI search warrants remain sealed.

The five APD officers who have been identified at the center of the federal investigation are:

  • APD LieutenantJustin Hunt
  • APD Police Officer Honorio Alba, Jr.
  • APD Police Officer Harvey Johnson
  • APD Police Officer Joshua Montano
  • APD Police Officer Nelson Ortiz

All 5 police officers have now resigned as the federal criminal investigation continues with indictments expected and others implicated.

Ever since the bribery  scandal broke 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”.  Medina has blamed the District Attorney’s Office for not giving APD notice of officers failing to appear as well as blaming the Public Defender’s office for being aware of what attorney Clear was doing. Medina takes credit for the investigation and for 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.

It was sure arrogance by Chief Medina proclaiming that the city council was “out of line” for demanding information about the scandal and exercising their oversight authority. Chief  Medina showed contempt and insubordination to the elected city council by calling out the 2 city councilors who are retired APD Police Officers saying they should know better and to not ask questions of the Chief on pending criminal investigations.

It was appalling when Mayor Keller accused the City Council of “unethical conduct” by saying “it’s marginally unethical for them to air these concerns” that may jeopardize the criminal investigation when the simply were asking for information they are entitled to have in order to carry out their oversight duties and responsibilities over APD.

Keller and Medina have made more than a few stunning admissions. They admit that the APD bribery and conspiracy scheme went on the entire 6 years they have been in charge of APD, but they never detected what was going on.

Both admitted that only after they found out the FBI was investigating APD, the decision was made to initiate a city criminal and internal affairs investigation and to proclaim cooperation with the FBI. Medina admitted that he knew about the corruption as far back as December 2022 when APD first received a complaint related to the department’s DWI unit yet he waited and essentially did nothing for a full year.

Keller’s admissions come from a person who was first elected as the “white knight” state auditor who stopped “waste, fraud and abuse” and held people accountable for government corruption. Medina’s admissions come from a chief who claims he has never looked the other way at police corruption.

Both Keller and Medina have looked the other way on documented corruption involving overtime pay abuses by APD police officers. There have been 7 audits in 8 years documenting the corruption, waste, fraud and abuse in police overtime.

APD’s reputation has been trashed to a major extent by the scandal. APD will be viewed by many as having another bastion of “dirty and corrupt cops” who have brought dishonor to their department and the department’s professed values of “Pride, Integrity, Fairness and Respect.”

The whole scandal places an ethical stain on the department that may never be removed. This is before any charges have been filed, before anyone is fired from APD and before we ever know who is responsible.

Chief Medina must bear significant responsibility and be held ultimately  responsible  for the scandal.


On February 17 APD Chief Harold Medina and his wife were in an unmarked APD truck on their way to participate in a press conference with Mayor Tim Keller when Medina decided to stop and call for APD to clear a homeless encampment.  According to Medina, he witnessed two people getting into a fight and a gun was pulled and pointed towards Medina and his wife and a single shot was fired.  In response to the gun fire, Medina admitted to taking off driving through a red light saying there was no oncoming traffic which has been proven false by a surveillance video.

Driving through oncoming traffic, Medina drove South through 3 lanes of traffic on Central and T-Boned a gold colored 1966 Ford Mustang. The driver of the Mustang called for medical assistance himself and was then taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver underwent 7 hours of surgery for his injuries. Neither Medina nor his wife sustained any serious injury. The Mustang was totaled. Medina admitted he did not have his lapel camera on and referred the accident to the Superintendent of Police Reform for investigation. Chief Medina has yet to be charged with any traffic violations.

APD Chief Harold Medina has admitted that he did not have his body camera on in violation of state law.  He has admitted that he ran a red light and T-boned another driver.  Surveillance video shows Medina cutting in between two other vehicles in oncoming traffic before accelerating at a high rate of speed through the intersection. The video shows Medina did not have his vehicle’s emergency equipment on.

Surveillance video shows oncoming traffic with Medina first slowly inching between two vehicles and Medina then accelerates to a high rate of speed to cross to the South traveling lanes of Central and crashing into the driver’s side of the Mustang that was traveling East on the South lanes of Central. The driver of the Mustand has been identified as Todd Perchert, 55, and he  is lucky to be alive.

Medina’s actions and the car crash fit the very definition of reckless driving by a person who “drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others and without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger … any person or property.”  Medina has yet to be charged.

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 admitted he did not turn his body camera on in a timely manner which is a violation APD Standard Operating procedures as well as  a violation of state law. Chief Medina failed to comply with state statute by not having his body camera activated to record  encounters with the public.  There are serious consequences for Chief Medina’s failure to abide by the body camera statute. Under the statute, per Section 29-1-18(C), he “may be presumed to have acted in bad faith and may be deemed liable for the independent tort of negligent spoliation of evidence or the independent tort of intentional spoliation of evidence.”

Medina has admitted he did not have police dispatch 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 (SOP) and state law. At no point did Medina have any emergency equipment on during or after the event which is another violation.

Medina violated the following specific APD Standard Operating Procedures:

  1. Chief Medina did not activate his “on body recording device” (OBRD) in a timely manner(Standard  Operating Procedure Section 2-8-4, “Use of On Body Recording Devices” and  2-8-5 “Mandatory Recordings”)
  2. Chief Medina involved his wife in a patrol and enforcement action when he decided to stop and investigate the homeless encampment and it escalated involving a felony resulting in her being placed in harm’s way. Chief Medina’s wife is not certified for APD ride along. (Standard Operating Procedure 1-6-4 Unauthorized Patrol Ride Along)
  3. Chief Medina  did not take his wife to a safe and convenient location before he attempted to take action and investigate. (Standard Operating Procedure 2-5, 2-5-4)
  4. Chief Medina did not have his vehicles emergency warning equipment engaged when he made the initiate stop to investigate nor when he took off to flee from the scene. (Standard Operating procedure 2-6, 2-6-4)
  5. Chief Medina did not drive his vehicle with due regard for the safety of others and drove with reckless disregard for the safety of others by running a red light and driving his vehicle without the vehicle’s emergency equipment on and when he ran the red light. (Standard Operating Procedure 2-6, 2-6-4)
  6. Chief Medina did not follow Standard Operating Procedures dealing with the investigation of “Crashes Involving Department Issued Vehicles. (Standard Operating Procedure 2-47 deals with “Crashes Involving Department Issued Vehicles”)
  7. Upon information and belief, Chief Medina has not prepared a Uniform Incident Report as required by Standard Operating Procedure. (Standard Operating Procedure 2-7, 2-7-4)


No sworn law enforcement officer, including APD Chief Harold Medina, is above enforcement of police standard operating procedures. A chief of police  must follow standard operating procedures and be held accountable for any violations just like he holds all those officers of lesser rank he manages and even disciplines.

The APD policy for responding to calls says when officers are responding to a call they must “exercise due regard for the safety of all persons and property.” It adds that they have right of way while responding to a call, but it does not relieve them from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all others.

It’s more likely than not that Chief Medina will not face any discipline by Mayor Tim Keller given he is a command level and Mayor Keller has called Medina arguably the most important person right now in these times in our city.” 

As recently as Monday, March 25, Mayor Tim Keller was asked at a meeting of upwards 75 community, progressive activists known as “Indivisible Nob Hill” how can the public have any faith and confidence in APD after the scandal and why he has not fired Chief Harold Medina.

Keller’s defense of Medina was alarming and was unequivocal wherein he gave credit to Chief Medina for bringing down the city’s crime rates and progress in implementing the Department of Justice reforms under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement. Mayor Keller made no mention of the February 17 car crash and made it clear that he has no intention of taking any action to remove Chief Harold Medina expressing 100% confidence in Medina.

If it was a patrol officer making these same mistakes and violating Standard Operating Procedures, Chief Medina would most likely give them hours of suspension without pay or even flat out terminate them.


The April 3 City Council meeting will be held in the Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers, basement level of the City of Albuquerque Government Center, 1 Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102.  The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m., and to speak during the meeting on the resolution during public comments, you must sign up beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Voters and residents are urged to attend the meeting or contact and voice their opinion and tell all city councilors and their city council service assistants to vote YES on the Resolution to remove Chief Harold Medina.

CITY COUNCIL PHONE: (505) 768-3100





















Links to 3 related blog articles are here:

Albuquerque Journal Pete Dinelli Guest Opinion Column “Chief Medina Should Be Fired And Prosecuted In Connection to Crash”


APD Officer Joshua Montaño Is 5TH APD Officer Implicated In DWI Dismissal-Bribery Scandal To Resign; Alleges “Generational” Corruption Approved By Supervisors; Montaños Hideous Shakedown Of Innocent Recalled; Makes No Apology To Public And Admits Resignation Done To Protect Accrued Sick, Vacation, Or Compensation Time; Feds Will Likely Use Resignation As Leverage

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.