What do you do when the top federal law enforcement officer in the state calls you a liar and a hypocrite? If you're Mayor Tim Keller you keep your mouth shut and pretend it didn't happen.
On July 28, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, John C. Anderson, sent Keller a scathing and truly remarkable letter (read the full letter here) in which he accused the mayor and his administration of lying about the city not getting a U.S. Department of Justice crime-fighting grant. He also told Keller that crime is out of control in Albuquerque and that Keller had been informed of the feds choosing Albuquerque as an Operation Legend city days before President Trump announced the effort and before Keller and his administration when berserk in publicly condemning it a few days later.
(Photo: Are they liars?"
And while Keller and other Democrats were busy accusing federal agents of being storm troopers, Anderson reminded Keller that the city entered into a settlement agreement with the DOJ in 2014 because its police officers were shooting and killing too many of its own citizens.
It's really an incredible letter. Anderson's biggest put down of Keller comes over the $10 million federal crime-fighting that Keller and his police chief Mike Geier said hasn't materialized. Anderson told Keller that the grant package has been in the city's hands for at least a month and that all the city has to do to get the money is to accept and sign the grant papers. Apparently the city hadn't done that.
Here's some of Anderson's letter to Keller about the grant:
“I would also like take this opportunity to address the additional issue of the Department of Justice's approximately $10 million federal grant award package that is currently pending in your office. Specifically, I have read an Instagram post that Chief Geier recently posted, in which he states the following:
“'While we welcome any additional resources to fight violent crime, the President promised help in the past and has not yet followed through. We are still waiting on the $10 million Operation Relentless Pursuit funding that was promised last year to help us with our goal to hire more officers and to bring in additional federal law enforcement agents to assist us in our crime fighting efforts. While I will try to remain optimistic, I won't hold my breath until we see all this actually come to fruition.'
“I have also read a KRQE article posted on July 23, 2020, in which you are quoted as saying, "We've had a lot of challenges where the federal government will work with us, say. 'Yes' to a program and then either the check never comes in the mail, which is the case with we think roughly $l0 million with this past operation."
“As you know, these funds are the same Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) funds that I have been imploring the City to accept for several months now. As further enticement for the City to accept these funds, the Department of Justice even waived the standard 25% local match that generally accompanies COPS Hiring Program (CHP) funds. So I am confused by statements, like those identified above, that clearly suggest to the public that the City has said "Yes" to these funds, but that the Department of Justice has failed to honor its promise to deliver them.
“My office, of course, issued a press release on May 11. 2020, announcing that these very funds had been awarded to the City. COPS Office Director Phil Keith then sent the City the grants award package, dated June 25,2020, which he addressed to Chief Geier and the City of Albuquerque's Chief Administrative Officer, Sarita Nair. In the package, Mr. Keith first congratulated the APD on being awarded the CHP funds. The award package further instructed, in bold lettering on the first page, that the City needed to officially accept the awarded funds within 45 days of receipt of the award package. To date, the COPS Office has received no communication from the City accepting the award.
“Obviously, no federal funds can be sent to Albuquerque unless the City officially accepts the award. In other words, the ball has very much been in the City's court for more than a month. So it is confusing to the public, and certainly unfair to the Department of Justice, for any City official to represent or suggest that the Department has somehow failed to follow through on its promise to get these funds to Albuquerque, or that anyone at the Department has failed to mail a check to the City for which it has been waiting.”
Anderson also laid it out pretty clearly as to why more federal agents are coming to Albuquerque. That's because Keller and his police department can't control crime. Here's more from Anderson's letter:
“One reason that Albuquerque was selected for Operation Legend is because, according to statistics published by the FBI, Albuquerque's violent crime rate is 3.7, or nearly four times the national violent crime rate. While we have been eagerly awaiting current, year-to-date statistics, I am sure you will agree that the pace of lethal shootings in Albuquerque from 2019 into 2020 is concerning. Of course, in 2019, the City experienced a record high number of homicides. Now in 2020, in one weekend this month alone, APD has opened four separate homicide investigations. And a survey of APD officers at the beginning of this year suggested that those surveyed believed Albuquerque's crime problem was "getting worse."
“My office's commitment to this fight is not new. Throughout my tenure as U.S. Attorney, we have consistently been taking tangible actions to reduce the number of violent criminals roaming the streets of Albuquerque. Indeed, my office, in partnership with dedicated federal agents and state and local law enforcement. has a long history of leading the fight against alleged cartel activity, drug trafficking,e violent repeat offenders, and those alleged to be involved in violent activities including gang violence, rape, sex trafficking, and kidnapping. Since mid-2017 alone, my office has also brought federal charges against more than 250 defendants that the DA's office has asked us to review for federal adoption.”
Mayor Timmy hasn't said anything about this letter or why he has been misleading Albuquerqueans about the COPS grant. We doubt that he ever will.