Inspector general questions executive's animal transfers
March 01, 2018 10:39 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Albuquerque Inspector General’s Office has released a report questioning the transfer of dogs from the city’s animal shelter to a city employee’s nonprofit.
"The city has this under investigation," Keller told the media. "They want to make sure and get a legal opinion on that first, but I can tell you as mayor it's a conflict of interest and it’s inappropriate and that's why I put her on administrative leave."
Inspector General David Harper adds that a total of 42 dogs may have been transferred to DMK Rehoming over time, 29 of which were transferred while Brinkley was working for the city. Brinkley was hired as the City of Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Associate Director in February 2017.
"I think from her perspective she felt that -- I would say it's rationalization," Harper said. "She rationalized her actions were ok because she thought she was doing a good thing."
DMK Rehoming’s website reveals dogs and puppies were anywhere from $50 to $250 to adopt.
"Community members had particular animals that they were interested in," Harper said. “They wanted to adopt them, and then the animals disappeared from their perspective. That's because the associate director pulled those animals out of that process."
Brinkley’s attorney, Thomas Grover, said she did not break any laws.
"What my client did was facilitate the rescue animals," Grover said. "Half were animals that were in very poor health and virtually on the euthanasia list. Animals that were sick that the rescue organization ultimately paid for medical care to help those animals."
Grover claims his client did not pocket her adoption fees.
"It goes back into the company to pay for medical care for other animals," he said. "In this case, there's no profit generated and certainly not to the benefit of my client."
Grover believes Brinkley cut shelter costs.
"Ultimately by taking the animals from the city shelter so that new vacancies were open and other animals can come in, I think the analysis can be made that she saved the city money," he said.
The inspector general's report also asserts that many of the city dogs didn’t have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, which is required in the State of Colorado. The report adds that Brinkley's landlord in Belen accused her of violating her lease for operating a kennel on the property without the landlord’s permission.
Grover does not believe that is Brinkley's responsibility, even though as a city employee she would have had access to the veterinary records.
"It's actually the transferring entity [City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department], that has the burden of having that certificate," he said.
Updated: March 01, 2018 10:39 PM
Created: March 01, 2018 08:02 PM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved