By Pete Dinelli
--The transfer of Paulette Diaz from the 5th floor Offices of APD’s Main Office as Chief Geier’s Administrative Support to the Animal Control Department smacks of political retaliation against a whistle blower.
-- If Keller and Nair were directly involved and gave instructions on how they wanted APD to handle the June 15 protest, they infused politics in the management of APD.
-- APD continues to crumble around an inept Mayor who has a difficult time cutting people lose because of a sense of “loyalty.”
-- Mayor Tim Keller is more concerned with public relations and being well liked and lacking any real substance in reducing our high crime rates.
On Sunday, Aug. 16, the ABQReport published a column by retired APD sergeant Dan Klein that asked, "Who's in charge aty APD? It's not Mike Geier." Read it here.
Dan Klein asks the very legitimate question “Who is in charge at APD?” Based on the content of the interoffice memos from Chief Geier’s Administrative Support Coordinator Paulette R. Diaz and APD Chief Michael Geier, it would appear that person is Keller’s political operative and Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair. Diaz makes references of interference from the Mayor’s Office and CAO Sarita Nair, saying Chief Geier has been given conflicting directives about how to address the issues with Chief of Staff John Ross and Diaz wrote:
“Those directives do not support you [Chief Geier] running this department and the Mayor’s office should not be entertaining private discussions with John, or even [Deputy Chief of Police] Medina for that matter, that run contrary to adherence to the chain of command or are done for their own personal reasons.”
The statement made by Diaz is clear proof that CAO Nair, and ostensibly, the Mayor are getting involved into the minutia of enforcing personnel rules and regulations which is very troubling. The transfer of Paulette Diaz from the 5th floor Offices of APD’s Main Office as Chief Geier’s Administrative Support to the Animal Control Department smacks of political retaliation against a whistle blower.
(Photo: Mayor Tim Keller fighting crime.)
The Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair does have authority under the City Charter the duty and responsibility to enforce the city’s personnel rules and regulations. The facts that Geier and CAO Sarita Nair have not placed Ross on Administrative Leave without pay until the Internal Affairs investigation is completed, have not ordered Ross to return the $2,400 laptop, nor have they rescinded the $10,000 pay raise are clear indications they intend to do absolutely nothing. What is even more troubling is that it was Paulette R. Diaz, who likely falls under the legal definition of a whistle blower, has been transferred to a completely different department, the Animal Welfare Department.
Chief Geier has over 40 years of experience in law enforcement and is a former Rio Rancho Police Chief, he should know what he is doing when managing the Department, but it’s obvious his loyalty to a subordinate is more important to him. Ultimately, its Chief Geier that needs to be held accountable for the mismanagement of the department. Preferential treatment and a sense of entitlement sends the wrong message to APD’s chain of command and in turn the rank and file of the department.
City Hall confidential sources report that Mayor Tim Keller was in constant contact with CAO Sarita Nair during the June 15 Onate Statute Protest at the Albuquerque Museum where a person was shot and that they gave Chief Geier or his Deputy Chief Harold Medina instructions on how they wanted the protest to be handled and how city property was to protected. Neither Nair nor Keller have prior management experience with any law enforcement department and have no experience with tactical plans nor how they are implemented. If Keller and Nair were directly involved and gave instructions on how they wanted APD to handle the June 15 protest, they infused politics in the management of APD.
APD continues to crumble around an inept Mayor who has a difficult time cutting people lose because of a sense of “loyalty.” Former Republican Mayor Richard Berry had what amounted to a blind loyalty relationship with Chief Gorden Eden and could afford to keep Eden, despite his incompetence, to the very end because Berry did not run for a 3rd term. Mayor Tim Keller on the other hand has made it known he is running for a second term in 2021 and still has over a year before the next election and anything can happen.
Things are only getting worse with Sarita Nair trying to run APD with mixed messages and politics. Mayor Tim Keller is more concerned with public relations and being well liked and lacking any real substance in reducing our high crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller needs to get a grip on the fact that its time to thank Chief Geier for his work and to find a new Chief who is willing to run a department without interference, and if that person can’t do the job, move on to someone who can.