Our Eyes tell us that yesterday, one of Mr. Heh’s campaign contractors got a visit from two investigators from the city’s Independent Review Office. The city’s IRO office is the civilian investigative arm of the Police Oversight Commission. Their narrowly defined job is limited to investigating complaints of misconduct by APD personnel. Our Eyes tell us that one of the investigators was Paul Skotchdopole.
If you recall, last December, the IRO’s office was under significant scrutiny because their most senior investigator Trey Flynt was caught trafficking pirated merchandise. Mr. Flynt also was caught what appears to be promoting prostitution on his website. Here are those stories:
Our Eyes tell us those cases are far from over as we understand the Feds are looking into the offenses. As if that wasn’t enough, we find it extremely alarming that Mr. Skotchdopole, the failed police officer from Belen, would be targeting and pushing a private civilian around in reference to activity related to Mr. Heh’s candidacy for mayor. Clearly the IRO’s office has ZERO jurisdiction over a private citizen who is NOT a city or APD employee. So why all the questions about Mr. Heh and his campaign? Why the visit? Why the false representation of appearing as if you work for APD?
The answer is obvious: intimidation.
You see when personnel arrive in pairs, knock on your door in an authoritative manner, wear lanyards containing their identification, and have “POLICE” insignia on your lanyards and ID card holders, it is very easy for a citizen to presume they are being contacted by the police. Aside from the fact that the IRO and its investigators are not even remotely connected with APD, this conduct is illegal on so many levels it truly is repugnant. You see, there are election laws that address this activity, and these two fellows are indeed suspects of having violated them:
NMSA 1978, 1-20-14. INTIMIDATION
Intimidation consists of inducing or attempting to induce fear in any member of a precinct board, voter, challenger or watcher by use of or threatened use of force, violence, infliction of damage, harm or loss or any form of economic retaliation, upon any voter, precinct board member, challenger or watcher for the purpose of impeding or preventing the free exercise of the elective franchise or the impartial administration of the election or Election Code
NMSA 1978, 1-20-13. Coercion of employees.
Coercion of employees consists of any officer or agent of any corporation, company or association, or any person having under his control or in his employment persons entitled to vote at any election, directly or indirectly discharging or threatening to discharge such employee because of the employee's political opinions or belief or because of such employee's intention to vote or refrain from voting for any candidate, party, proposition, question or constitutional amendment.
And..NMSA 1978, 30-27-2.1. Impersonating a peace officer.
A. Impersonating a peace officer consists of:
(1) without due authority exercising or attempting to exercise the functions of a peace officer; or (2) pretending to be a peace officer with the intent to deceive another person.
B. Whoever commits impersonating a peace officer is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Given Mr. Skotchdopole’s already sketchy history of litigated civil rights abuse claims while he was a Belen police officer, we have to ask the obvious: WHAT ARE YOU THINKING BERRY and IRO HAMMER? A complete investigation of this incident must be completed by BCSO or NMSP. To have city employees committing what appear to be felony crimes is unacceptable. And once again….where’s Berry?
PS:Oh and don’t think we aren’t working on something for the expected showdown between APOA presidential candidate Greg Weber and the citizens who have been rallying for change in this Monday’s city council meeting...