Has APD gone to the dogs? Or is this just the dog days of summer?
The Albuquerque Journal (August 12, 2020, Elise Kaplan) reported that Albuquerque Police Chief Geier and his secretary, Paulette Diaz, had written memos complaining about the conduct of APD Chief of Staff John Ross. You can read both here:
Here is Diaz's letter to Geier.
Here is Geier's letter asking for an Internal Affairs investigation into Ross.
One of the complaints leveled at Ross by Diaz was that he was bringing his dog, Sophie, to work with him because his wife didn’t want the dog at home with her. I am sure it is easier to have a bad dog at work, pissing off your co-workers, than to have that dog at the house pissing off your wife.
Diaz states that Sophie used Deputy Chief of Police Michael Smathers' office as a place to poop. Sophie used Deputy Chief Arturo Gonzales office as the place to pee. If this is true, why didn’t Smathers and Gonzales tell Ross to get rid of Sophie or return the favor by pooping and peeing in Ross’ office? A couple of deuces left in Ross’ office would have probably done the job if Smathers and Gonzales didn’t want to confront him. Better question, why didn’t they confront him?
(Photo: John Ross)
A couple of other ideas for Smathers and Gonzales, they could have gone to Geier and asked him to kick Sophie out. They could have started bringing their own dogs to work with them each day. Either way, the point would have been made, but instead they did nothing. Isn’t that a trend at APD chiefs office? Collecting large paychecks and doing nothing. Is doing nothing the “right thing”, as Geier would say?
What is deeply concerning is the allegation from Diaz that Ross was tasking APD employees to take care of Sophie during their work hours. We pay our police employees to work for us, the citizens. If Ross was having employees taking care of Sophie while on the clock, then it is an abuse of power. But who investigates or holds to task those in power when they are accused of abusing it? Mayor Keller? Naw.
Isn’t this the way it always seems to happen? A person in a high paid, powerful position, who could easily afford a doggie daycare for their mutt, instead finds it easier to abuse their position of trust and integrity. I wonder if Ross would have allowed patrol officers to bring their dogs with them in their police cars. How about detectives bringing their dogs to their homicide or robbery offices for the day? You know the answer, of course Ross wouldn’t approve it.
Why is it that Ross, who like the other deputy chiefs, earns $66.94 per hour of taxpayer money, believes it is OK for him to bring his dog to work? The only word I can think of is arrogance. He is the chief of staff, even the deputy chiefs, who are his equals, apparently fear him. It wasn’t until a civilian secretary (Diaz), making less than half of what he makes and with very little power and authority, stood up and “did the right thing” that this abuse was exposed.
Here is advice to Ross and the others in command at APD’s chief’s office. Don’t do anything that you would not allow a patrolman or detective to do. Set the example of service to the community and to the men and women of APD. Put everyone else, the community and your employees, first. And for Gods sake if you witness a peer committing acts that you know are wrong put a stop to it or resign.
It is Ross and the others who have behaved badly.
Sophie is not a bad dog. It is her owner who needs remedial training.