APD Forward Questions Motivation and Timing of Audit
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Earlier this week, three Albuquerque City Councilors called on the city auditor to review the performance of Dr. James Ginger and his company Public Management Resources. The process and the timing of the councilors’ request raises concerns for APD Forward (www.apdforward.org), a coalition whose purpose is to advocate for reforms of the Albuquerque Police Department.
“APD Forward has reviewed the Monitor’s contract and the court order approving the contract and we are concerned that the allegations from the City Councilors seem to be questionable at best,” said APD Forward spokesperson Nancy Koenigsberg, senior attorney at Disability Rights New Mexico. “Further, the court order delineates the process the city is required to follow if they believe there is an issue with how the monitor is carrying out his obligations. That is the proper way to raise these questions. Coming just weeks before a new administration takes office, it appears that this is an attempt by the City to smear the monitor’s reputation. We believe it would be far more productive if the City Council, along with the new administration, work collaboratively with the monitor to embrace the reform process agreed to three years ago.”
Dr. Ginger is the court-appointed Independent Monitor in the police reform agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the City of Albuquerque. The DOJ entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) after a DOJ investigation found a pattern and practice of excessive use of deadly force, as well as a “culture of aggression” within the Albuquerque Police Department.
In his capacity as Independent Monitor, Dr. Ginger and his team answer solely to the federal court, although his contract is paid for by the City of Albuquerque as part of the CASA. Any challenge to the Monitor’s performance should be addressed by the federal court overseeing the process. APD Forward believes the reforms outlined in the CASA are critical to the well-being of Albuquerque and APD, and the independence of the monitor is paramount to the police reform process.
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