Faced with scrutiny that's grown like the city's national reputation for government crime and corruption, Richard "RJ" Berry came out of the shadows to answer questions about Taser and his electro-dynamic duo, Tom Streicher and Scott Greenwood's connections to Taser.
In an interview with KOAT's Regina Ruiz, Berry confirmed what we've all but known. That they either knew about Streicher & Greenwood's commercial pay-to-play dealings with Taser and didn't care OR they knew about it and didn't care. Either way, we care because it's either gross incompetence or gross corruption, and kudos for Ms. Ruiz for boxing RJ in.
When asked about the vetting process for these two Taser contractors, oops, we mean "consultants," Berry said:
"That wasn't a topic of discussion because that's not what we hired them to do."
"No, didn't ask."
"I don't believe there's a conflict of interest."
"We hired them to negotiate this agreement, not to pick what equipment we use inside the Albuquerque Police Department from the stand point of one brand or the other."
So tell us RJ, with DOJ confirming that APD has a pattern and practice of use of force abuses involving Tasers, do you really think these two fellows are going to do ANYTHING that is against Taser's interests in Albuquerque? Are they really going to endorse ANYTHING that reduces the use and deployment of Tasers? Of course not, because they are conflicted out. That would be like hiring a Federal ammunition rep to come to the city and recommend the department start using Remington bullets! That would be like having TJ be a spokesperson for city fitness standards! That would be like having Rob Perry as a spokesperson for sobriety! That would be like having APD's spokesperson Janet Blair be a spokesperson for IPRA compliance! That would be like having Schultz as a spokesperson for...oh well you get our point. It's just....greasy!
He says this wasn't a topic of conversation because a local business owner referred him to the Cincinnati people. Hmmm, could this local business owner be Ray Schultz or Darren White?
Look folks, let's quit the dancing around. What's going on here is nothing short of public corruption at its worst. A top city employee got a sweet gig after hooking a large city vendor up with a sweet deal. Now we have all sorts of other leaders either playing dumb ( meaning they're incompetent) or concealing what happened (meaning they're committing crimes).
I mean, we all know that Schultz "greased" the way for Taser to get their largest police contract in their history and then left the department to work for Taser. (Our Eyes tell us it's not IF the hammer drops on that little play-n-pay scenario but WHEN...). We know that Schultz endorsed, conspired, and actively violated the law on many occasions in an effort to promote and keep his commercial dealings with Taser from being derailed. Heck, he even changed APD rules and regulations so that officers could use their Taser's more frequently! And so it goes....
But just when things couldn't get more disgusting, things continue. We've been quietly watching as the lawsuit against the city and Darren White unfold in the Mary Han case. Well, it seems yesterday the other shoe dropped. The family of the deceased civil rights attorney has filed against the "esteemed" former NM Supreme Court justice (and frequent visitor to Socorro we are told) for his tampering and, rather loose accounting, of his former partner's estate. You see if anybody knows anything about probate, we know that it is a long slow drawn out process. Yet some how Kennedy was able to get himself named as the estate's personnel representative about a week after Ms. Han was found deceased by none other than....Kennedy. Of course, Kennedy's lawyer, Chuck Peifer (also the same lawyer defending the Journal and Kent Walz) said his client's hands are clean and that it's all Ms. Han's family's fault. Blaming the family of a woman whose death scene was trampled by over two-dozen people from the city. Really taking the high road on that one Mr. Peifer.
The lawsuit says Kennedy had unrestricted access to Ms. Han's estate for almost a year before being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Oops....