The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Aug 9, 2007

A Step in the Right Direction?

If you've read any of our red light scam-era posts you know that one of our chief concerns with Marty's scam-eras is the lack of due process that is inherent in the program. Last Monday, Councilor Brad Winter introduced a bill to create an Independent Office of Hearings (O-07-81); which in true City Council fashion, was substituted and postponed until August 20th.

A review of the proposed ordinance (before the substitute) reveals that Councilor Winter understands the due process problem that we've been talking about, at least as far as the separation of interests and the appearance of conflict of interest. The basic idea is to create an appointed position of Chief Hearing Officer, who would be selected by the mayor and approved by the council. He would be responsible for hiring all of the hearing officers in the department. The Chief Hearing Officer could only be removed for "malfeasance" or "misfeasance."
(Sidebar)
Perhaps Councilor Harris would like to apply for the job after October. Although there seems to be mounting evidence that Mr. Harris might qualify for removal on those terms as well.
(End Sidebar)
Councilor Winter's approach seems to fix the problem of the Almighty Mayor having influence over hearing officers however; it doesn't address all of the problems associated with receiving a fair hearing. The most obvious problem is that the accused is denied the ability to present a viable defense, particularly in the case of speeding violations.

In the State of New Mexico it is required that misdemeanor charges such as speeding are witnessed by a sworn law enforcement official. The creation of a parallel civil justice system by the City of Albuquerque circumvents this requirement.

You are probably thinking... so what? We've all seen someone hauling @%$ down the street and thought where's a police officer when you need one?! There's certainly a crime and a witness; but for the pesky state law that requires an officer to witness the crime that jerk would be doin' time. Ok... maybe not a trip to the big house, but at least their wallet would be a little lighter.

Remember, running red lights and even speeding are considered petty misdemeanors. The requirement that a law enforcement official witness this type of crime protects everyone from being the victim of harassment on a regular basis. Without it, anyone with an axe to grind could make an accusation against anyone they dislike without regard to the allegations validity. Further, these accusations wouldn't be known by the accused until well after the alleged crime.

We don't know about you, but we drive the Eye Mobile down a lot of roads with a lot of different speed limits and go through a lot of different intersections. We can't specifically remember ANY of them from today, much less a few days ago. If some miscreant decided that they wanted to see us punished for something, anything we'd be an easy target because, while we make every attempt to obey all traffic laws, we can't tell you the exact speed limit on every street, or tell you for sure that we haven't accidentally run a red light in the last few days.

Mayor Marty and his minions over at RedFlex count on this, in fact they even go so far as to limit the defenses that you have to just three.
1. The vehicle was stolen or otherwise being driven without your knowledge or permission at the time of the violation. You must have a police report or other reliable evidence to avail yourself of this defense.
2. The ownership of the vehicle had lawfully been transferred and conveyed from you to another person before the time of the violation. To assert this defense, you must identify the transferee and provide proof of conveyance.
3. The evidence does not show that a violation was committed involving the subject vehicle.
- City of Albuquerque Notice of Violation

In other words, if your vehicle has not been stolen or sold to someone else, you have to rely upon the evidence provided by the prosecution (the city and RedFlex) to prove your innocence because you have been denied the opportunity to gather independent evidence by the fact that most drivers don't know about the "violation" until at least 10 days after it occurs.

Don't get us wrong, we're not criticizing the councilor's attempt to do something to fix the program it's more than anyone else has done thus far. In fact The Mayer (Councilor Mayer) withdrew her proposal O-07-87, that would have lowered fines before it was heard Monday. Of course that would be like putting lipstick on pig, but she didn't even have the courage to follow through on that miniscule attempt to make the scam-eras more palatable.

A step in the right direction... maybe. But we're still of the opinion that the scam-eras and their accompanying quasi judicial system have got to go. Until drivers have the opportunity to know they've committed a crime at the time of the crime's commission they will continue to have to rely upon the state and their contractors for their defense; both of whom have a direct financial interest in providing evidence that the "violator" is guilty. The scam-eras aren't justice, they don't even improve safety... it's time that the Almighty One and the council admit that they screwed up instead of continuing to screw the public.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first person that runs for or governor and says that they will remove every camera in the state will win by a landslide. Take note Ray and Smarty Marty

Anonymous said...

Marty's out. Period. This place is run like some colony in Mexico.
This blog is right on and we the people must make a statement on election day, that includes ousting ALL the so called Republicans who take a paycheck from Marty. Off to the wood shed with all of you Marty 'R's.
Payne, Schultz, Bitzer, Mayer and the rest that are hiding behind his skirt while being paid 30 pieces like Judas.
The Republican party honchos need to identify all those who are loyal only to the Marty and their prostituted salaries. 24 more months and you're all out. Take your red LIGHT scameras and stick 'em where the LIGHT don't shine.

joe schmedlap said...

Probably the best stop gap measure they could have is to hire "real" hearing officers./ i.e. people who either have a background in law or law enforcement. I have one friend who dealt with this after 20 + years of being a cop, the hearing officer agreed that the "defendant" was not the driver and asked for the actual drivers information and whereabouts... when he was given all that he STILL found the truck's owner "guilty" and advised him to file an appeal. Needless to say the non-refundable cost of filing an appeal in Dist. court was more than the $100 ticket. Myself, Im one of the ones who caught a speeding camera ticket in that area of Coors where you can see both the 40 & 45 MPH signs, I still hear that they may refund that grop of us our money but I ain't holding my breath!

Anonymous said...

There is no due process with APD, I know, I've been there. APD hides information that will help you and tries to put the screws to you,,,,unless you're one of the favorties, then all the lies start

Anonymous said...

last post, spoken like a true convict.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but I don't mind the red light cameras. I have a 6 year old daughter and am a stay at home Mom. People in this City used to run red lights all the time and now they don't seem to do it as much. When the red light camera first went up at Menual and Wyoming, my daughter and I would see at least 5 cars run the red lights at a time. Then people started getting hit with fines and the speeding, etc. stopped. We are at that intersection M-F at 7:50 a.m. all during the school year and I believe the red light cameras work. I do think the fines are excessive, but the cameras work.

I will also say that ever do get a ticket, I won't expect due process from APD. APD is unresponsive and has been for years, it needs a complete overhaul and I don't expect to see that anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

An overhaul will take place just as soon as this mayor and his hacks are run out of office or are in jail.
I do agree that the red light cameras do change driving patterns and habits. However, I don't like the manner in which the city approached the public with it. Had they been truthful and not tryed to screw the public and lie about it being for the sole purpose of public safety, I think the citizens would have been more responsive.
There's nothing wrong with them provided that the city allowed for a proper due process and stop lying about everything that has to do with the system. If they can't be honorable, truthful and up front about these cameras, I say take the damn things out for good.
Then again, under the current arrogance, leave them be, as it will only take more voters away form Marty's next election, as every day passes by.
More red light cameras, less votes. So leave them in place for the next mayor to take 'em out.

Anonymous said...

I agree, leave them in place. Marty will win again so there is no point in taking them out because we will just have to put them right back up...

Anonymous said...

QUOTE------------------------

Anonymous said...
last post, spoken like a true convict.

August 10, 2007 5:26:00 PM MDT

-----------------------------

Above post: spoken with arrogance, condescension, preconceptions, and bad grammar... just like a true APD officer.

I'm so proud.

Anonymous said...

1. Plain and simple, dont speed and dont run red lights and you wont have a bitch.

2. The COPS dont run the program! Never have never will. FACT.

3. APD is an excellent department except for a few rotten apples (they are the ones who usually post here). The department is the best trained and equiped in the southwest. It is also the best managed. So stinking open they even let the bitchers and moaners who post all the BS on this blog remain on the department and in their current positions. That was not always the fact, just look back to the 1980's and 90's and ask some of those guys what happened to the few who spoke out? they were stuck in closets so far removed that when they they retired most peole didnt know who they were. Or ask some of the guys who were ordered by Sammy B. to retire or else???? You guys (and gals) dont know how good you have it.

Anonymous said...

a "few rotten apples" why are you even posting here, you said usually post here, don't respond,, especially if you're from the 5th floor,,,I am not sure if any really cares, they just like the gossip, the APOA web don't get this much action

Charles said...

I am on principle in favor of the red light cameras. In a community where engaging in driving behaviors that endanger lives (death, debilitating injury, loss of employment, income, property -- life-shattering events) is treated as a "petty misdemeanor," it is pretty obvious where our values lie. Since courtesy, regard for others and common sense are insufficient to compel responsible driving, the mayor has found something that does command attention: a stiff fine.

Argue about the process all you want. And I have a good second-hand story of someone whose car stalled in an intersection, and despite testimony by his mechanic and picture after picture of red light change after red light change, the guy was still found guilty!

Fix the broken process, but don't throw this baby out with the bath water.

Anonymous said...

Second Hand story....I would agree, it's probably just a story, I don't believe that.

Brad said...

Anyone gotten the new "scrubbed" numbers that the city was supposed to publish as a result of the new cameras?

Isn't it interesting that the city promised to re=evaluate the numbers and seems to be stalling giving us the facts?

Anonymous said...

A few posts up. As a civilian I have know doubt that this police department is one of the best in the country. However, I think that the politics on the fifth floor along with the lies and deceit, don't have to be a part of the program. Yes there are some disgruntlement among the troops, but the Chief and deputies need to clean up their act and lead by example,and not follow the example set by this mayor.
His methods of governing will erode and decay a police department and a society.

Anonymous said...

Hang on......I'm still scrubbing