John Sullivan says Geier Directed him to Retire
The former commander of the Albuquerque Police Department's Training Academy says he was forced to retire by Police Chief Mike Geier.
The apparent forced resignation of now former Cmdr. John Sullivan came a month after Sullivan testified before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Brack that he had ended what he called a “good-ol'-boy” testing practice at the academy where cadets were told what questions would be on their tests, where cadets were allowed to take tests in a group and where pretty much every cadet passed with a 95 percent score.
“We were doing the good-ol'-boy testing. The instructor would say, 'This could be something you might see later,' and everybody was allowed to kind of sit there and do the testing with each other and
a group test environment took place,” Sullivan told Brack on June 11 during a status conference on APS's reform case.
But on July 12, Sullivan submitted a two-sentence retirement letter to Geier that said, “Per your directive, I am involuntarily retiring from the City of Albuquerque without waiving rights to any legal action I may pursue in the future.”
Sullivan's retirement was effective July 21, according to his letter.
ABQReport obtained Sullivan's retirement letter through a public records request.
During the June status conference, Sullivan told Brack that the independent monitor in the reform case, James Ginger, found an unusually high rate pf passing grades for the academy's cadets.
“They [Ginger's team] found it interesting that everybody received a 95 percent or higher,” Sullivan told Brack. “And when I looked at that, I found it kind of interesting, too. And being a police officer now for almost 20 years with the Albuquerque Police Department, I knew in my mind exactly why it was happening; however, I chose to create a completed staff work to address that issue. I did some research, looked at some of the best practices nation-wide and found out what I think we all knew already, but the Academy wasn't doing testing correctly.”
Sullivan also told Brack that he had changed a passing grade for cadets from 70 percent to 80 percent on their test.
ABQReport emailed APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos questions about Sullivan's apparent forced resignation; he did not immediately respond.
Last week APD announced Angela Byrd, the now-former chief of the Bosque Farms Police Department, will be the next commander of the Albuquerque Police Department Academy.
Byrd’s résumé also includes six years as a deputy sheriff in Wichita, Kan., and eight years as the director of the Southeastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy in Hobbs.