One of our many concerns was that Officer Levi Chavez was still on the payroll some 18 months after being placed on administrative leave. Again, Chavez is only a "person of interest" (ok, suspect) in his wife's untimely demise. But, Chief Schultz routinely terminates officers for far less.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said Wednesday that he is frustrated by how long the investigation is taking. Schultz said his hands are tied because, if he starts an internal investigation into Chavez and disciplines him, it could taint the criminal case.What's upsetting is that a Chief who has an officer whose actions have already triggered numerous criminal investigations hasn't seen fit to start his own internal affairs investigation - even though he has a habit of starting IA investigations and leaving them open... until???
"This is upsetting. Unfortunately (Valencia County investigators) have put us in an untenable position," Schultz said. "They have made the allegations that Levi Chavez is a suspect in a homicide investigation and in a fraud investigation. I can't in good conscience put him back to work protecting the community with those allegations out there looming."
Valencia County District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said Schultz could conduct his own internal investigation and discipline Chavez without tainting any criminal case, because anything Schultz finds out could not be used in criminal proceedings.As you can see, the DA in Valencia County isn't at all worried about an APD Internal Affairs investigation because its findings cannot be used in a court of law.
It seems as if Chief Schultz has not even initiated an investigation of Chavez even though the APD officer seems to have been implicated in not one but two criminal investigations. Our question is why? Why is Chavez still on the payroll when other officers have been terminated for far less? And Why is Schultz so willing to protect Chavez?