Updated: September 29, 2020 10:07 PM
Created: September 29, 2020 09:09 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— An Albuquerque woman was on her way to a late Monday meeting when she noticed a government vehicle with a political bumper sticker.
The woman said she noticed the truck, which belongs to Bernalillo County, while driving down Cesar Chavez near Fourth Street.
Bernalillo County officials said the truck was assigned to a mechanic to repair heavy equipment.
“Could be a bulldozer, could be something else that needs repair. They go out in the field and repair the equipment,” said Tom Thorpe, a communication services administrator for Bernalillo County.
County officials said the sticker violates the county code of conduct.
“Employees are not allowed to politic on county time, so they can't wear political things, they can't do political things while on the job,” Thorpe added.
According to the county’s code of conduct, employees can’t use a county vehicle in a political advertisement or display campaign signs in the workplace.
“We ask that county vehicles remain as they're issued, so we prefer employees not to customize them in any way or personalize them,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said the employee was unaware the sticker was on his vehicle.
“We inquired with the employee using the truck, he didn't know it was back there,” Thorpe said.
“Things happen during these kinds of times where the political season—he could have stopped somewhere to pick up a part and somebody put it on the back of his truck,” he added.
County officials said the sticker has been removed.
“We don't see it as malicious. Somebody is probably, you know, stating their opinion or thinks that might be comical,” Thorpe said. “They're not damaging the vehicle as far as we can tell, so it's just removed and we move on from there.’
The city of Albuquerque said they have a policy similar to the county’s: no advertising on state vehicles.
The city said their fleet is only allowed to have stickers approved by the city, like the One Albuquerque logo or 311 sticker.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company