Sadly before Tera Chavez was even memorialize, we at the Eye were calling the scene down in Los Lunas for what it was: A crime scene. Thanks to our many Eyes, we called it then (READ IT HERE) and we’re standing by it now. Except now we are almost six years later. Justice truly has been delayed in this matter. But not for lack of effort by the many people involved in trying to make things right for a young mother of two who was taken well before her time. And the nefarious efforts of crime ring that spans the state and involves many former and current office holders.
You see, much of all this could’ve been avoided if the people who ran (and still run) APD acted like professionals. A frequent lurker reminds us that “integrity is what you do when nobody is looking.” And sadly in the case of Levi Chavez, lots of people were looking. The problem is APD’s chief, Ray Schultz could’ve cared less. He failed to act then, and he continues to fail to act now. In fact, when confronted by the few who do not fear him, we are told he gets so perplexed his arrogance almost makes him implode. What the frustration; simple arrogance from a simpleton.
When Levi collided his car into a child riding their bike in the foothills and then failed to report it, Schultz failed to fire him. When Patrolmen Second Class Levi was taken to task for carrying a Kimber .45 instead of his issued Glock 17, Schultz did nothing (guess what gun was used to kill Tera Chavez; Levi Chavez issued Glock 17). When Levi lied about where he was on the night of October 20th while supposedly on patrol with Russell Perea but cannot be accounted for over two hours, Schultz did nothing. Each and every single offense mentioned here is a punishable by termination. Three strikes and your out? both Schultz and Chavez should have been terminated. Chavez should have been terminated for the multiple offenses listed and Schultz for incompetence.
As we all watch and listen to the horrors of the details of this murder during a trial that will take us well into summer (you can hear it streaming live here) remember Levi Chavez never should’ve even been an APD officer in October 2007. He should’ve already been fired.
But even worse than those that fail to do the right thing when nobody is looking, APD’s Ray Schultz refuses to do the right thing even when in the spotlight. Here again arrogance.
Schultz refuses to step down while he and his policies have decimated the department’s staffing and effectiveness and efficiency of APD. Filled with toys and nepotistic underlings, APD has all but lost its credibility as an effective agency. And the details of Schultz’s mismanagement will be highly scrutinized during this trial. It is no surprise that our Eyes tell us there were personnel from DOJ in the gallery and out of state reporters as well. Schultz's lack of true leadership will be the standard of training of what NOT to do as a chief of police.
Valencia County deputy district attorney Brian McKay began the trial by saying “A perfect murder is one that does not look like a murder.” That too could be said about the endless harm Schultz has perpetrated upon the employees and officers of APD and the citizens they serve. When Schultz is gone we will all look back and say to ourselves, "Oh my gosh, he (Schultz) was terrible and ruin APD under our noses."
Schultz, Berry, and Perry have committed the perfect crime by making their actions appear as if they were "not criminal." But when you step back away from the trees, and see the larger picture, the mess we have here now is only the result of criminal activity. This will be another story we will refer back to in the future that we called it JUST LIKE WE DID WITH LEVI CHAVEZ.
Justice demands that things be made right. The cesspool of intertwined relationships within APD's supervisors and subordinates contributed to a climate of looking away (a culture of corruption). Enough.