A year ago, the Albuquerque Journal proclaimed “Schultz Right for Job” in an editorial where they addressed whether APD needed a new chief or not (“APD Needs One Chief; Schultz Right for Job.” Albuquerque Journal, 09/01/11). In their article, represented as the paper’s opinion, the authors identified a list of issues Chief Schultz acted upon when confronted with them. For instance, the paper stated that when Hyde murdered two APD officers in 2005 Schultz created a group of “civilian APD employees to work with other agencies to help deal with mental health issues.” (Remember COAST?) When confronted with comments made by officers on their Facebook pages, Chief Schultz developed and implemented a social media policy. (Remember the Chief’s Twitter posting?) When PERF investigated the increase in officer involved shootings, Chief Schultz implemented 39 of 40 alleged recommendations.(Remember he was on the board of PERF?) The article closed with noble ideal that “APD officers are held to a higher standard, that they must walk their law-abiding talk…”
Here we are a year later, and given the record of Chief Schultz in the years leading up to the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial we would’ve expected to see an improvement in APD’s standing in the community, the quality of its officers, and its performance as a department. But we have not. In fact by any measure APD is crashing as an institution. The department continues to lose trust in the community as it hides and conceals misconduct by officers, experienced and veteran officers retire as soon as eligible (with over 60 scheduled to retire this year), and property and violent crime statistics continue to climb. Because of endless mismanagement and gross misconduct by Chief Schultz and his Deputy Chiefs, the department remains under constant scrutiny. Patrolmen, sergeants, and lieutenants remain without a contract, litigation by employees against the department has exploded, and still Ray Schultz remains as Mayor Berry’s police chief.
Now our Eyes tell us almost the unthinkable is unfolding. For quite a while people have wondered why it seems the Albuquerque Journal is so aggressive in criticizing the hard working rank and file APD officers while giving endless cover to a chief that has cost the city tens of millions of dollars, ruined careers and lives, and all but destroyed once proud and highly respected department. Last week we found out….
This is where the lines between the private media and a public law enforcement organization blur. In response to this front page story, the complaint states that Chief Schultz and APD lawyer Kathy Levy discussed the story and plotted a response before even ascertaining whether any wrongdoing had occurred. In emails Levy tells Chief Schultz, “...take the highroad that we are acting on the side of caution.” Levy also told Chief Schultz, “...make sure we’ve got good access to tj for the right comments…” Then days later on September 15, 2009, in an engorged article by Mr. Wilham, Chief Schultz is quoted as saying, “We have decided to take the high road and error on the side of caution. We think this is the best course of action…” Clearly, the relationships between Levy, Chief Schultz, and Mr. Wilham blurred as the APD and the Albuquerque Journal plotted together how to address this story and resolve it a manner where once again Chief Schultz was afforded cover.
What we wonder is how ironic is that while Chief Schultz is being hailed as a leader and the man right for the job he never is in front of challenges facing APD or its personnel. As the first Journal article confirmed, all Chief Schultz has done is follow events. He has not once been in front of them. And to make matters worse, those event she’s followed and “acted upon” as soon as they leave the public eye, he lets them go. Additionally, Mr. Wilham now works as Chief Schultz’s personal assistant and as we’ve seen in recent stories, Mr. Wilham and Chief Schultz remain in personal contact with the Journal’s current police reporter Jeff Proctor via personal non-department cell phones. Today Mr. Proctor reported on a story involving a charge of discrimination by several veteran APD lieutenants. Mr. Proctor learned of this information not from the lieutenants, not from their attorney, not from the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions, not from the US Department of Justice….but from none other than the 5th Floor.
A week after the Albuquerque Journal’s article praising Chief Ray Schultz, another article appeared authored by retired APD lieutenant Steve Tate. In “Schultz Has Had Ample Time To Cleanup APD.” (Albuquerque Journal, September 8, 2011) Lieutenant Tate asserts from first hand observations occasions where Chief Schultz could’ve done the right thing but failed to do so. When exceptions were being made to accepted police officer hiring standards, Chief Schultz did nothing. When certain officers’ misconduct was brought to Chief Schultz’s attention for termination, Chief Schultz did nothing. When it was clear there was significant increase in officer involved shootings, Chief Schultz did nothing. But from the dialogue detailed in the lawsuit against Mr. Wilham, we can be sure Chief Schultz was in constant contact with then reporter TJ Wilham in their plot as to how best spin the stories. Through Mr. Wilham’s help, Chief Schultz has evaded responsibility for the mess that now weighs over APD….
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? 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