Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Susana And The Cement And Of Berry And Schultz 

So what do we have here? Why it's Gov. Martinez pouring cement at recent groundbreaking ceremonies for a new osteopathic medical school in Las Cruces. And the Alligator cutline? Try this:

Well, concrete worked for Jimmy Hoffa, let’s see Michael Sanchez dig himself out of this!

Which raises the question of whether the Guv will once again try to bury Democrat Sanchez at the polls come November '16. She gave it her--all as well as a wheelbarrow full of cash--in 2013. But it was to no avail and Sanchez retained his title as  Senate Majority Leader. All signs point to Sanchez seeking re-election, even if he has to wear cement boots.


Mayor Berry is said to have been south of the border--down Mexico way--when all hell broke loose with the release of that state audit that said former APD Chief Ray Schultz had probably violated the law when working to "grease" a nearly $2 million city contract fort Taser--the maker of the lapel cameras worn by officers. While Berry avoided the media storm, he since has been questioned about Schultz and Taser and here's what he had to say:

There will always be something that comes up in a city of this size. If we find a breach in protocol or if we find someone circumvented a process, we need to look it right in the eye and we need to tell folks we won't back away from it and we'll fix it. Then the responsibility falls on me as the mayor to direct people to go and make the fixes that need to be made. . . . 

Let's parse the mayor's statement. He says "there will always be something that comes up in a city of his size." But when was the last time the city's top ranking law enforcement officer was implicated in a shady deal (pay to play)  that could very well lead to his criminal prosecution? In fact, we can't recall any city official of Schultz's rank or of similar rank who has faced these kind of corruption allegations in modern history. In fact. . . .

The history of the modern government of ABQ is a clean history. There are a number of reasons for that, not the least of which is that it is located in the state's media and business center and subjected to much more scrutiny than governments elsewhere in our sprawling state. At least until now.

When it came to APD, the fatal police shootings and the Taser deal, the checks and balances broke down. In other words, the tale of Taser corruption--reaching as it does to the highest level of city government--is unique. It hasn't happened before. Mayor Berry's effort to dismiss it as simply "something that comes up" contradicts the historical record. It only came up this time because most of the media, the city council, the Mayor and his chief administrative officer and the business community shut their eyes.

Again, Ray Schultz's Taser caper is not just another "something." If it is treated as such ABQ will have to prepare itself for a level of corruption at City hall that heretofore has been unheard of.

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