APS Police Chief Gil Lovato under investigation, finally.
Albiquerque Public Schools has its own police department. I do not know how rare that is - but in this case, our Albuquerque public schools watcher Chedd McQuigg has been watching the APS very closely since he became a member.
He has been consistently critical of issues of probity in the school department and now it appears his concerns have been borne out. Mark Schneider, Actual News Guy.
Among the allegations; he “misappropriated” evidence from his
evidence room. He claimed that he had no access to the room. Others
claimed the truth to be, he had a master key. When asked by KRQE for
the truth about the master key access, he told them it was none of
their business. By extension, the truth is none of the public’s
business. The truth about the public service of a public servant is
none of the public’s business.
That argument has a familiar and disturbing ring to it; does it not?
According to the Journal, “Another top APS official (apparently Tom
Savage) instructed all sworn and civilian personnel in the school
district police department not to discuss the audit or reveal what was
said to auditors.” In other words, no public servant is to tell the
truth to any member of the public regarding the details of their public
Superintendent Everitt told the Journal that “she couldn’t get into the
reasons behind her decision to place Lovato on leave…” The public has
no right to know the details of the betrayal of public trust by a
When asked about apparent inconsistencies in the handling of Lovato’s
case, Everitt said, “It just depends on circumstances. …It’s really
just based on circumstances.”
When asked why Lovato still had his master keys and a company car,
Everitt offered, “it really is dependent based on individuals…”
It is a familiar theme in written standards for APS leadership; follow
the rule unless you decide that you want to do something else. It is
based on the premise that if you are powerful enough you can except
yourself from the rules. And, if you are arrogant enough you can
actually write your exception into the rule. They like to decide things
on a “case by case” basis. The system works well for their friends. It
works less well for their enemies.
Lovato is the subject of previous unresolved allegations of ethical and
criminal misconduct in the handling of evidence. The allegations were
denied a principled resolution by the leadership of the APS who used
Modrall lawyers, unwitting taxpayer support of “education”, and
weaknesses in the legal system to prevent the resolution of those
allegations and of other allegations against senior administrators and
Actual immunity from allegations of criminal misconduct was purchased
for senior APS administrators and board members, by and through
Modrall, when public funds were exchanged for that immunity. When
senior administrator Michael Vigil was on his way to jail for
aggravated drunk driving, he is reported to have asked to be allowed to
call Gil Lovato. For what do you suppose? Perhaps it was to discuss
their mutual respect for the law, and for honest accountability to a
meaningful standard of conduct.
According to everybody’s mother; “where there is smoke there is fire.”
So is this smoke, or is this fire?