Jessica Hernandez Out As City Attorney
Jessica Hernandez, who some say led the effort to obstruct the Albuquerque Police Department's reform agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, is out as city attorney.
Hernandez will not be reporting for work on Friday, Mayor Tim Keller's first day in office, because, well, she wasn't invited to.
(Photo: Jessica Hernandez is out as city attorney.)
Justine Freeman, Keller's deputy chief of staff, told ABQReport on Thursday that Hernandez is gone.
“She was not invited to come into work tomorrow,” Freeman said when asked about Hernandez's status.
Hernandez was an at-will employee and wasn't protected by the city's merit employment system.
Hernandez joined Richard Berry's mayoral administration in the middle of his second term and has presided over what can only be called a disaster when it comes to APD's reform effort. The independent monitor in the reform case, James Ginger, has issued six scathing reports about APD's willful obstruction of the reform process. All of those reports came after Hernandez took the lead on the city's court case with the DOJ.
Ginger has accused APD – and thus, Hernandez – of being in deliberate noncompliance with the reform settlement agreement the city signed with the DOJ in late 2014.
And earlier this month, the federal court judge who is overseeing the settlement agreement blasted APD and the city for trying to destroy Ginger's credibility and trying to undermine the settlement agreement.
On Oct. 31, the city, meaning Hernandez, filed a motion in federal court that accused Ginger of being biased against APD. As evidence of that alleged bias, the city – again, meaning Hernandez – produced a secret lapel camera video of Ginger that Assistant Police Chief Robert Huntsman had recorded in March of 2016.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Brack didn't buy Hernandez's argument and accused the city of trying to undermine the settlement agreement.