June 29, 2015
Greetings Dr. Ginger,
The Eye On Albuquerque wishes to welcome you to Albuquerque. We understand you have assembled a “team” for the Albuquerque Police Department and you and the Mayor’s and DOJ’s lawyers have agreed the City of Albuquerque will pay you approximately $4,500,000 to review and report on the City’s compliance with the Settlement Agreement. Some of the City Councilors recently questioned whether they could get a better deal, but here you are and $4.5M is how much we’re paying you. You have informed the City you’ve produced over 300 pages of plans for monitoring and enforcing the Agreement, and all are looking forward to having those documents as soon as possible.
Introducing The Eye
We also need to introduce ourselves, since you don’t have any local team members and might not be fully aware of what we’ve been doing or what our plans are, now you and your team are here. You see, our Eyes are already “monitoring” the City of Albuquerque. And our Eyes are already focused on a kind of “community outreach” that is directly connected to the community, with readers who respond with their own opinions, ideas, and facts. We have a genuinely responsive community with a potential that has only begun to be realized.
To our Eyes; APD policies, practices, procedures, politics, and issues are the topics of primary importance. We believe the corruption, ethical and legal violations, and even the much discussed “systemic deficiencies“ in City government have been and are ripe for exposure. We oppose further delay. We share your concern and interest in what will happen to our City and to the Albuquerque Police Department under the agreement between the City’s lawyers and the DOJ’s lawyers. We believe changes have to happen right now, not over the next four years or more.
We invite you to go back and review our earlier posts and comments. Our Eyes have often been the only ones monitoring and reporting about APD, Taser contracts, ineffective leadership and training, and all sorts of other issues. No matter what you do or how much you’re paid; we fully intend to keep doing this work – exposing corruption, seeking truth, telling the stories about what we know and learn, and most important, providing an open forum for public discussion of important facts and issues. The Eye On Albuquerque is a nonprofit BlogSpot.
Looking at the overall picture, we really don’t understand why you have given all of the community the impression your work here with APD should be considered ‘that’ difficult or why you Dr. Ginger, should be paid so much or need to employ so many team members. As we said, we’ve been unofficially “monitoring” APD for years, and there’s nothing ‘that’ hard about it.
What makes it hard for us is Mayor RJ Berry, Rob Perry, and maybe a few jealous media people who are always attacking instead of helping us, always trying to punish instead of recognizing us, and who have done everything in their power to force the closure of the Eye On Albuquerque. You and your team, of course, have no such enemies. People yearn for justice, and are generally happy to tell their stories; documents and data are generally available. The hard part is finding someone to listen who is honest and can do something about it.
No Pay; Delay?
As reported by one of our TV stations and then in the Albuquerque Journal, you told people attending a public meeting last week that the City Council’s failure to approve your pay was holding up your report, delaying it by around three months. We hope you did not intend to excuse the City’s delays in complying with the express terms of the Settlement Agreement. We also hope it is NOT your intention to delay the enforcement of the settlement in order to leverage an astronomical amount of money for the services you will be required to perform under the settlement agreement. We don’t plan on making excuses or waiting for someone to give us millions of dollars before we start writing about what’s wrong. And from what we’re hearing, compliance with the Settlement Agreement is almost nonexistent, compliance issues are growing rather than being resolved, and transparency is completely lacking.
Finally, we have to say it: we’re all working towards the same goal, but some are getting paid a lot better than others. You’re a professional with a 9-member team, getting $4.5M for four years of monitoring, and this is only one of the projects you’re working on; we get nothing and work on our own time without pay. This creates inequalities and no, we are not asking to be paid. We are merely pointing out issues such as now when we’re all waiting for the lawyers, the judges, and the City officials who we’ve elected and appointed to start doing their jobs, start earning their pay, and start cleaning up the City and its police department. As you can see; when we see something that is wrong or gives the appearance of impropriety we will call it like it is. The settlement agreement is about ethics and morality; you need to set the example and step up to the plate.
So we do welcome you, Dr. Ginger, and your team of professional monitors. And we’re going to be looking very carefully at what you and the team says and does, just as we expect you will be watching us and listening to what we have to say. Please let us know when you’re ready to get started.
The Eye on Albuquerque