More secret audio raises questions about DOJ-APD feud
January 18, 2018 10:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- More bombshell secret recordings of the Albuquerque Police Department's independent federal monitor have emerged. All of them were made by senior city officials.
KOB obtained nearly a dozen never-before-heard audio recordings made over two years and spent Thursday poring through hours of audio.
One recording dated Nov. 15, 2016, starts with a rustle moments before Department of Justice monitor James Ginger walks into the office of then-Albuquerque City Attorney Jessica Hernandez. Ginger, the man overseeing APD's reform process, is with a female colleague. Hernandez suggests nobody take notes, even though she's secretly recording.
Hernandez: "I'm not planning to take ... I'm not going to be writing notes. If you are comfortable not..."
Ginger: "Unfortunately, if I don't take notes, I don't remember. I'm getting to be that age."
Ginger insists, saying note-taking helps his memory. Large stretches of conversation turn to Hernandez and her concerns about her personal relationship with Ginger -- that it's not working.
Hernandez: "I know that you have told people that you can't or you won't work with me, and that's not going to work."
Ginger: "That's not true. I don't know who told you that, but it's incorrect. I don't think I've ever uttered the phrase in my life "I can't work with so and so."
That recording was made around the two-year anniversary of Ginger's work with the department. The conversation lands frequently on Ginger's concerns about then-APD Chief Gorden Eden. Ginger says there are chiefs who lead and chiefs who manage. He implies Eden is the latter.
Ginger: "What this place needs is leadership."
Hernandez offers concern that Ginger's monitoring team is setting goals impossible to reach because they change.
Hernandez: "When they receive feedback from you or from the monitoring team, they would like it to be something they can continue to rely on. They would like it to not shift, and they would like it to not be different when the monitor's report comes out."
The conversation then shifts to the now infamous secretly recorded March 2016 meeting, a recording made by assistant APD Chief Robert Huntsman with his department-issued lapel cam.
Hernandez: "You expressed your frustration with me, and you told them 'this department is going to be collateral damage.'"
According to that body camera video released by Hernandez last November, those were Ginger's words. But when he's confronted about them, Ginger said the following.
Ginger: "I'm telling you I didn't say that. I know I didn't say it because that's not who I am. I'm not vindictive. Never have been, don't plan on being."
To reiterate, this is one recording of nearly a dozen. However, Ginger denied something in one recording he was caught saying in another.
Federal Judge Robert Brack has admonished Hernandez for making recordings and releasing them. These recordings are now public is because he ordered Hernandez turn them over.
KOB reached out to Hernandez through her new employer but has not heard back.
Updated: January 18, 2018 10:14 PM
Created: January 18, 2018 09:16 PM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved