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Chief Geier's pal runs amok at APD; makes unauthorized purchases; demands chief's signature

(Editor's note: While some other news outlets have reported on this story, the reports have been vague and short, and many have missed the point. And none of them have provided access to the full documents in this case. We have in the links below. We hope that you will read the actual documents.)

Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier's handpicked chief of staff has been running amok at APD, circumventing purchasing rules, making improper purchases, yelling at and intimidating the chief's secretary, bypassing Geier to get himself a hefty pay raise and walking off with the chief's signature stamp that was being kept locked in a secretary's desk drawer.

Those are the allegations against John Ross that Geier's secretary, Paulette Diaz, made in a stunning, seven-page, July 13 memo to Geier. (Read the entire letter here.) Seven days later, Geier basically confirmed Diaz's allegations in a memo to APD's Internal Affairs unit asking for an investigation into Ross.

But stunningly—and inexplicably—Geier didn't order Ross, who is a police officer, to return the improperly purchased merchandise. Nor did he order Ross to forego his hefty pay raise that Geier says didn't approve. (Read Geier's memo here.) Instead, Geier said in his memo that he told Ross to do “the right thing.” Well, apparently Ross doesn't know what the right thing is because as of July 20 he had not returned the merchandise nor asked/demanded that his own unapproved pay raise be rescinded.

(Photo: John Ross)

In her July 13 memo to Geier, Diaz made nine allegations against Ross:

1. That he purchased, without department approval, a $2,400 Apple laptop computer.

2. That he purchased, again without approval, a $200 Apple TV Box that had no apparent work use. Diaz also said that Ross personally demanded Geier's signature stamp, which the chief had ordered be locked up. Why would Ross demand Geier's signature stamp?

3. Ross attempted to buy a ballistic vest without going through the proper procedures.

4. That Ross tried to buy a lift for his APD vehicle, again, without approval.

5. That Ross circumvented the approval process—meaning Geier's approval—to get himself a hefty pay raise. He now is paid $140,000 a year.

6. Ross improperly gave a pay raise to an APD staffer.

7. That during a six-week period in late 2019, Ross removed Geier from the approval chain for financial and travel documents and pending human resources documents.

8. That Ross brought a dog to work without approval and let it jump on employees' desks.

9. That Ross ruined a department-issued computer by forcing a charger not specific to the laptop into its charging port.

Here's what Diaz's memo said about Ross' purchase of the $2,400 purchase of the Apple computer:

Here's what Diaz said about Ross demanding Geier's signature stamp:

Why would Ross demand Geier's signature stamp?

Here's what Geier said in his complaint against Ross:

There will be more on this story tomorrow.

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