TruTouch President, James McNally and board member David Durgin, were contributors to White’s campaign for his failed attempt to run for the First Congressional District. White was beaten down by current Congressmen (D) Martin Heinrich. TruTouch violated state law by their failure to disclose pre-contract contributions. This also appears to be a violation of the contract itself. After receiving a huge no-bid contract with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, White’s campaign received an additional $2,500.00.
White claims he had no fault, having accepted the contribution which was legal and reported to Federal Election Commission.
Between McNally and Durgin, they contributed a $3,500.00, in spite; Sheriff White was responsible for reporting how well the TruTouch machines performed.
The Eye does give White full credit to owning up to this. In his statement below, White clearly acknowledges and accepts responsibility.
“The Sheriff’s [sic] fully supports the Sole Source contract award to TruTouch Technologies…. The Sheriff’s Department will oversee the project and expenditure of grant funds and submit all necessary reports to the proper agencies. [Signed] Darren P. White, Sheriff — 2/19/2008″
“White, who is now Albuquerque's Public Safety Director, said the machines were never used because nobody at the Sheriff's Office could get TruTouch to teach them how to use the devices.
However, a company news release says those machines, and a newer version under development, do not require user training, according to a Journal story published in January on venture capital investments for the company.”
Who is Lying; Albuquerque’s Public Safety Director, (former Sheriff) Darren White or TruTouch?
While still holding the “bag,” White is still backing TruTouch even after a $1,100,000.00 price tag and a complete lost to us tax payers. The big question then becomes why?
One of the Eye On Albuquerque researchers located these two reference documents;
Agenda Item Number: 2007-2-7A
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Risk Management Contractor shall defend, indemnify and forever hold and save the County, its officers and employees harmless against any and all suits, causes of action, claims, liabilities, damages, losses and reasonable attorneys’ fees and all other expenses of any kind from any source which may arise out of this Agreement or any amendment hereto, if caused by the negligent act, error, or omission, or intentional act, error, or omission of the Contractor, its officers, employees, servants or agents. David Baca, Risk Management Director
Agenda Item Number: 2008-4-6A
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The Sheriff’s fully supports the Sole Source contract award to TruTouch Technologies of
Albuquerque. TruTouch has demonstrated that they are the only bio-medical research firm
that has the current technology to test, develop, and manufacture the non-invasive biosensor
units. The department has actually done preliminary field work with a prior generation device in conjunction with TruTouch and were very encouraged by the efficacy of the capabilities and results provided by this equipment. The Sheriff’s Department will over-see the project and expenditure of grant funds and submit all necessary reports to the proper agencies.
Darren P. White, Sheriff - 2/19/2008
Now, that this phase of the development of the project is complete Senator Kent Cravens has
sponsored two Senate bills to provide funding to Bernalillo County to purchase prototype noninvasive biometric devices for testing in the field. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to participate in this field testing phase by managing and awarding the state grant money contracts, as well as being the first law enforcement agency in the United States to test this technology in “real life” law enforcement situations. If this sole source is approved, the procurement will allow for the non-invasive biometric sensor project to move forward through the gathering of data and determining the workability of the instrument for further development. The data and information from this testing will also be forwarded on to Representative Wilson, Senator Cravens, as well as Governor Richardson’s office for review. The equipment purchased will remain the property of Bernalillo County. The Sheriff’s Department has been awarded two Special Appropriations from the New Mexico State Legislature to purchase non-invasive alcohol and screening prototype equipment for the purpose of detecting and measuring alcohol levels in motorists while driving under the influence. The total amount of the two appropriations is$380,000. Both appropriations were sponsored by State Senator Kent Cravens of Albuquerque. The non-invasive alcohol screening equipment is part of Bernalillo County’s on-going initiative to develop “State of the Art” testing equipment for the interdiction and prevention of drunk driving.
In the Agenda Item Number: 2007-2-7A, it clearly states that the Risk Manager, David Baca, placed the legal verbage to allow legal recourse. Perhaps this may be something that the County of Bernalillo Government should explore.
In the Agenda Item Number: 2008-4-6A, it states, “The department has actually done preliminary field work with a prior generation device in conjunction with TruTouch and were very encouraged by the efficacy of the capabilities and results provided by this equipment.” … Darren P. White, Sheriff - 2/19/2008 (Italic added for emphasis)
“The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to participate in this field testing phase by managing and awarding the state grant money contracts, as well as being the first law enforcement agency in the United States to test this technology in “real life” law enforcement situations.” (Italic added for emphasis)
If this is true, Darren White had knowledge that the Sheriff’s Department already knew how to use the machines because he claims his Department actually used them in the field testing. This contradicts his statement that the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department did not know how to use these machines.
White was also tasked with managing the State Grant Money and ensuring it was done correctly. What is really going on here?
What was this? Was this a play to pay scheme? You will have to decide.
Sheriff Houston, if there is a bono-fied problem here, as a public elected official you are being summons to duty; you have the legitimate authority and duty to call for an official investigation. Perhaps the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office since this involved State Grant Funding. Don’t bother with Bernalillo County District Attorney, Kari Brandenburg; in all probability she will do nothing as she did in another felony case that involved White. The Feds should be included since it involved Federal Grant Funding. If the Feds blow you off, go to the Department of Justice. It is your decision Sheriff Houston…
Here are a few final thoughts. Does the APOA President, Joey Sigala, Know something we don’t? Sigala stated in his Journal editorial on Monday, February 28, 2011, titled, “No-Confidence Vote About More Than Cars.” Sigala stated, “As the city faces a $40 million budget deficit, now might be the time to eliminate the position altogether. If not eliminate the position, then the Albuquerque Police Officer's Association is asking the mayor to consider a change of leadership at the position of chief Public Safety officer.” You will have to decide.
Here is what our Honorable Congressmen, Martin Heinrich, stated back in 2008, “ Heinrich contended that White received "illegal contributions" from officials of TruTouch Technologies, which received a sole-source contract earlier this year for the sheriff's department to test high-tech, noninvasive DWI enforcement technology. Heinrich said the contributions violated a state ethics law.”
Mayor Berry; the Eye has made humor concerning your non-responsible and non-responsive behavior. With all due respect; we ask you to step up and be the leader that we elected. Please deal with your “White Elephant.”
Company won't answer fraud questions
Items purchased in 2008 called into question
Updated: Friday, 04 Mar 2011, 9:18 AM MST
Published : Friday, 04 Mar 2011, 9:00 AM MST
• Reporter: Nancy Laflin
• Web Producer: Blair Shiff
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The New Mexico Attorney General is investigating whether fraud was committed regarding TruTouch machines purchased in 2008. Then-Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said the machines never worked...
...the taxpayers in Bernalillo County and the state of New Mexico and basically even nationwide, invested over $1 million into three boxes that are down in our basement that are worthless," said now-Sheriff Dan Houston.
Houston wants to know if any fraud was committed, so he has contacted the Attorney General.
Darren White was sheriff at the time the machines were purchased and said they never worked.
END UPDATE (Update posted at 10:20 PM 4 Mar 11)