No Cover-Up?

Tim McGivern
3 min read
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Sometimes I just love the Journal, like yesterday, when they ran this headline, “Review Faults Ex-APD Chief; Evidence Room Management Failed.” The article, by Dan McKay, either has contempt for the truth or is trying to channel the truth to readers by some mystic means. But with the Journal, you can never quite tell which one it is. For example, here's the three lead paragraphs:

Former Police Chief Gilbert Gallegos violated “basic police procedures” in handling allegations of wrongdoing in the police evidence room, according to a report issued Monday by Albuquerque’s top police watchdog.

A summary of the 1,000-page report faults Gallegos for failing to launch an immediate criminal investigation into alleged thefts from the evidence room, despite the recommendation of senior staff.

Investigators, however, found no evidence of a cover-up by senior leadership, according to the report, which was signed by Independent Review Officer Jay Rowland and others.

The first two paragraphs would seem to indicate the clear possibility of a cover-up. But then the third paragraph boldly discounts the idea. The article then offers these selective quotes coming directly from the Independent Review Office's report. Here's the first one that appears a few paragraphs later:

“Inadequate supervision over many years created conditions that made theft easy to commit and impossible to prove.”

Wait a minute. That's quoted from the 1,000-page report. It sounds like the literal definition of a cover-up.

“Basic police procedures were ignored and violated by the Chief,” is the next quote offered from the report. Gallegos didn't remove “suspected employees” from the evidence room fast enough, a point raised previously by critics, McKay writes, and then the story quotes again from the report:

“During the time these suspected personnel were allowed to remain in their jobs, computer records were altered, evidence logs disappeared, and any chance for identifying those responsible for alleged theft was lost.”

What? But there was no cover-up. No sir, not anywhere, not by anyone. It said so right there in the Journal. True, McKay is just regurgitating what the report said, but is it too much to ask for a more discerning viewpoint? Perhaps we will see something meaty from the editorial page, but don't hold your breath.

UPDATE: Oh and today, we learned that none of the Chief Gallegos' deputies involved in the matter will be released from their jobs by the new Chief Ray Shultz, the former APD officer brought in from Arizona to clean up the mess, ostensibly, after Chief Gil Gallegos resigned under pressure. So who's accountable for this travesty? Nobody, really. Chief Gallegos was an empty uniform, a rubberstamping, sleep all afternoon kind of administrator. Blame him and no one else becomes accountable. That's just pitiful, although, the whole outcome was predictable. And in the future, expect more dishonesty, embarrassment and mediocrity from our administrators at APD. How could you expect anything else when nobody is held accountable?

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