Former Mayor Martin Chavez is becoming legendary for his little side agreements with his loyal minions. Firefighter's union President Diego Arencón signed an agreement with the Formerly Almighty Alcalde guaranteeing himself a hefty $90,000 a year salary despite holding a position as a Firefighter First Class (read it here). Ed Adams - Marty's right hand man - recently produced one of these little pieces of paper signed by former CAO Bruce Perlman that basically says that Adams has the right to keep his sweet salary ($147,000 a year) no matter what job he holds with the city.
Now our Eyes tell us that in the spirit of spreading the wealth to other Minion Alums, Lawrence Torres has produced a memorandum of understanding signed by former CAO and current Municipal Development employee Ed Adams that moved the former union president back to APD as a Patrolman 1st Class and like Adams Torres managed to keep his over $80,000 a year salary. The move was specifically designed to allow Torres to retire from APD.
You see, APD has a 20 year retirement. Despite the fact that Torres spent only around 15 years in open space, his service in HR (a non-public safety position) counts towards his PERA retirement if he retires from a public safety agency. The problem is according to our Eyes, Torres' allowed his state certification to lapse which would make him ineligible to return to APD as a sworn officer.
Our Eyes have it that back in late October, Deputy Chief McCabe spent some time over at the academy with Torres' file after which the file was noticeably bigger. It doesn't take a genius to guess that the additional forms might have something to do with Torres' certification.
Torres is set to retire later this week. It looks like he'll be able to use his salary from his job as "Employee Relations Director" to determine his retirement benefit and the fact that he's retiring from APD to make him eligible for a 20 year retirement.
The mistake that Adams and company may have made is in allowing Torres to take his former salary back to APD as a P1C. Our Eyes tell us that there are a number of officers who are none too happy that one of their fellow P1Cs was making roughly double their salary - even if it was for just a couple of months. Those officers are considering a lawsuit based on a violation of the APOA's collective bargaining agreement.
These little side agreements were standard operating procedure for the Chavez administration. What concerns us is that APD is still lead by those who have a vested interest in keeping these shenanigans under wraps. So far, three of Marty's closest Minions have been able to produce these MOUs. In the Torres case, Chief Schultz is directly responsible for allowing the move and potentially responsible for altering public records.
It's entirely possible that the Torres transfer was completely legal. But if Mayor Berry truly wants to create a transparent city government, every contract, every expense, every MOU needs to be easily accessible to the public. Taxpayers have to pay these bills... We should at least know what the bills are for.
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