Sometimes in this bizarre and unfair world in which we live, mere allegations of wrongdoing against a particular person or entity carry more weight than hard and real proof of wrongdoing against another person or entity.
And sometimes a judge will order an all-out probe into mere allegations while totally and inexplicably ignoring actual proof of wrongdoing – proof that unfolded before his very eyes and in his own courtroom – against other people an entities.
At least that's how it looks right know with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Brack, who is overseeing the DOJ settlement agreement case with the Albuquerque Police Department. Brack appears to be operating on a bizarre double standard.
For three years, the previous mayoral administration - meaning that of Richard Berry - constantly and willfully obstructed the police department's consent decree the city signed with the DOJ and that Brack, as a judge, approved. During those three years the independent monitor filed report after report – seven reports exactly – detailing how former APD Chief Gorden Eden, former Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman, and former City Attorney Jessica Hernandez and crowd deliberately obstructed the reform effort.
Along the way, Hernandez and crowd secretly recorded the monitor, James Ginger, in an obvious attempt to discredit him and to derail the reform process. And then, last October, Hernandez and Eden and Huntsman tried to deceive Brack by filing a motion saying that Ginger was biased against APD. As proof, Hernandez attached only a partial video of the a secret recording that Huntsman had made of the monitor in March of 2016.
Those people purposely obstructed the reform effort and cost us all millions and millions of dollars in wasted time and effort because AP}D is basically having to start the reform process over from scratch.
What did Brack do to the people who willfully obstructed a federal court order and who tried to pull one over on him in court?
Nothing! Not a damn thing! No, Brack said he didn't want to pursue sanctions against the obstructionists and the deceivers because that would be a waste of his precious time and because the city needs to move forward, not backwards, on the reform effort.
So the obstructionists and the deceivers walk away free and clear – no sanctions, no public humiliation, no fines for wasting our money and abusing the court - no nothing.
Yet when a guy named Ralph Arellanes, the state director of LULAC, walked into Brack's courtroom earlier this month and alleged that APD officers were harassing him and surveilling his home with spotlights and frequent drive-bys, Brack immediately ordered a full-blown investigation.
Arellanes had absolutely no proof to support his allegations and he gets an immediate investigation – an investigation that will most likely target patrol officers, not lawyers and a police chief.
And yet when Brack had solid and incontrovertible proof that a chief of police, a city attorney, an assistant chief of police and other top city officials purposely tried to torpedo a court order and the reform effort, he smiled, excused their behavior, let them walk and basically waved bye-bye.
Why the double standard?
Could it be that Brack gives breaks to high-level people, meaning so-called leaders and members of the ruling-class club, and hammers the low-level workers, in this case, patrol cops?
Sounds like this might be like the typical practice of ignoring any crimes the good people in Tanoan might commit, while throwing the full weight of the law at a poor kid from the South Valley who stole something.
Brack's refusal to demand even the smallest amount of accountability from the former obstructionists has left many observers speechless and angry. Why would he not go after people who for three years purposely violated a court order and wasted millions of dollars in taxpayers' money?
It's inexplicable, and it's unforgivable.