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APD Spokesperson Who Lied To Public Resigns

Celina Espinoza, one of the Albuquerque Police Department's spokespeople who lied to the public about APD's non-investigation of the Victoria Martens case, has resigned from her $74,000-a-year job.

Espinoza resigned on Nov. 13, said mayoral spokeswoman Rhiannon Samuel.

APD Chief Gorden Eden announced earlier this month that he will resign at the end of the month. Eden makes $164,000 a year.

In August, a Civilian Police Oversight Agency investigation concluded that two APD spokespeople lied to the public about the department's role in the Victoria Martens case before the girl was drugged, raped, murdered and dismembered.

The spokespeople, officer Fred Duran and Espinoza, a civilian employee, lied wen they told a reporter earlier this year that APD detectives had investigated a report that the boyfriend of Victoria's mother had tried to kiss the 10-year-old girl several months before she was murdered.

No APD personnel ever visited Victoria or her mother to investigate the allegations, the investigation said.

In addition, Eden was told of the lie in January, but the department waited six weeks to tell the truth about it. And APD told the truth only after being confronted by a reporter about it, the investigation said.

And, APD officials, including Duran, were told last December that no department personnel investigated the child abuse allegations, but Duran still insisted to a reporter in January of this year that they had.

The investigation found that Duran apparently made up the lie and told it in January to a reporter from the Albuquerque Journal. Espinoza then repeated the lie to the reporter in a subsequent conversation.

But shortly after that, Espinoza was told by an APD sergeant that no one from the department ever investigated the referral about Martens that came from the state's Children, Youth and Families Department.

Again, it took six weeks for Espinoza to correct the misinformation she and Duran had spread.

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