Dick Pics at the Police Oversight Agency?
CORRECTION: IT TURNS OUT THAT THE LAST SIX QUESTIONS LISTED IN THE STORY BELOW NEVER GOT TO THE ALLEGED VICTIM. THE ALLEGED VICTIM REPLIED TO THE MY FIRST EMAIL WHICH CONTAINED THE FIRST FOUR QUESTIONS. AFTER RECEIVING HER RESPONSE I WROTE SIX ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND HIT THE REPLY BUTTON. TURNS OUT THAT THE REPLY, AND THE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS WENT TO ME, NOT THE ALLEGED VICTIM. I HAVE DELETED THE QUESTIONS THAT DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE ALLEGED VICTIM--DENNIS DOMRZALSKI. 7:31 P.M. JULY 2, 2019.
- Complaint alleges that an employee of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency texted a picture of his dick to a female Police Oversight Board member.
- Alleged victim denies it.
- Alleged perpetrator hasn't responded to our questions.
Something bizarre is going on at the two bodies that comprise Albuquerque's civilian oversight process—the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and the Police Oversight Board—and not many people want to talk about it. It involves allegations of sexual harassment and an allegation that a male CPOA staffer sent a picture of his penis to a female board member.
And now the city has hired a private investigations firm, Rick Foley Investigations, to look into those allegations. The allegations were contained in a June 7, 2019, complaint sent to the city by an “Anonymous Citizen.” The complaint itself is strange in that it basically threatens the city with public exposure if it failed to promptly investigate the allegations.
. ABQReport got the complaint from Mayor Tim Keller's office. We've chosen to redact the names of the alleged perpetrator and victim because the case is under investigation and nothing yet has been proved or disproved. And even though the alleged victim has said that the allegations in the complaint aren't true, we believe that any allegations against public officials need to be made public. And especially at an agency that judges police officers and recommends discipline against them.
We're alarmed, though, by the unwillingness of the alleged perpetrator and victim to fully and publicly talk about the matter. If it didn't happen at all, why won't they talk? After all, these are people who have pledged themselves to transparency. Apparently that pledge vanishes when there are controversies about themselves. And are some board members trying to protect someone? Maybe we'll eventually find out.
The CPOA staffer who allegedly sent the offending has failed to respond to four phone messages and one email from ABQReport asking him about the matter.
The female POB member who supposedly received the offending text told ABQReport that the allegations in the complaint aren't true. “The things alleged in the complaint are not true. There was no sexual harassment to report,” the POB member said.
What does that mean, no sexual harassment? Does it mean she doesn’t believe the message was sexual harassment? Or does it mean she never received an inappropriate message from the CPOA staffer?
And one other POB member seemed to be a walking contradiction on the issue. That board member said she had spoken to the alleged victim and told ABQReport that there was nothing to the allegation. Then that board member added, “There was no picture.” When asked if there had been a sexually explicit email, the board member said, “I'm not giving it up.” Not giving it up? Does that mean there is an inappropriate message?
Here's the gist of the anonymous complaint:
“Ms. (name deleted) has spoken privately to various board members about Mr. (name deleted) sending her explicit photos, more specifically, photos of his penis. When Ms. (name deleted) texted her reply relative to what is this all about, Mr. (name deleted) texted back, “Oh sorry, wrong person.” Ms. (name deleted) does not believe that Mr. (name deleted) sent a picture of his penis in a text to her by phone by mistake. Reasonably speaking, isn't that something you would want to be SURE was sent to the right person? We think Mr. (name deleted) purposefully sent the picture to Ms. (name deleted).
“Ms. (name deleted) has not come forward on her own, but it is because she is very meek. She is obviously sending her community a 'cry for help' and we must respond appropriately. There may or may not have been other board officials notified, but they have not acted, for some reason. As such, each board member should be questioned as to what they know in order for the truth to be found.
“It is outrageous that a criminal act would be allowed to be kept secret, go unnoticed, and go unpunished, especially if the perpetrator is (title deleted).”
Here are questions ABQReport emailed the alleged victim:
“Ms. (name deleted),
The ABQReport has received a copy of a June 7, 2019, complaint filed with the City of Albuquerque by an anonymous citizen claiming you were subjected to sexual harassment by (name deleted). I've attached a copy of the complaint as a PDF.
I have some questions for you regarding this complaint.
- Did you get a text message/photo of a human penis from (name deleted)? If you did, when did you get the text, meaning the date?
- Did you respond to (name deleted) penis photo and ask him what the message was about? If so, what was his response?
- Why didn't you file a complaint against Mr. 9name deleted) with the city?
- Have you spoken to or otherwise communicated with (name deleted) about the inappropriate photo/text message? Should (name deleted) be fired for sending such a photo?
The story is strange because the alleged dick pic was sent to the board member in the spring of 2018. We've heard that she showed to several people, including other board members. So why the silence?
The CPOA answers directly to the POB. Does that mean that Rick Foley Investigations will turn over their findings to the POB? The same people who have dodged questions and are possibly the recipient of the inappropriate message? When Mayor Keller staff was asked this question, they stated that the POB is under the jurisdiction of the city council. When we asked the city council about this investigation, three members said they have not been briefed and the other six ignored us. So much for transparency on the city council.
These people at the CPOA and POB are tasked with writing police policy, investigating allegations of police misconduct and making recommendations for discipline of police officers. My question to all of them is this:
If an APD officer was being investigated for allegations of sexual harassment and has hidden and dodged questions, the way these people at the POB and CPOA have, what would they do?
Is someone being protected?