City councilor asks attorney general to investigate Albuquerque mayor
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.M – A city councilor wants the state attorney general to investigate Mayor Tim Keller’s administration and how it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In a letter, City Councilor Louie Sanchez says Keller used taxpayer dollars to buy a turf field for a football team that doesn’t even play in Albuquerque – but he’s not the only one saying the mayor is in the wrong.
Sanchez decided to reach out to the attorney general after the City of Albuquerque’s Office of the Inspector General published a report that says Keller violated the state anti-donation clause when he authorized the purchases of a new turf field for the Duke City Gladiators, and also paid for it to be installed in the Rio Rancho Event Center.
“It has outraged me, and it has outraged the public. We want to get to the bottom of this and it’s all about transparency here,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez wrote a letter to the attorney general’s office a few days after the o-i-g report was published
“I honestly believe the answer is already in the OIG report,” Sanchez said. “We just asked the administration, Keller’s team on city council to give us a rundown and what he gave us was false statements.”
KOB 4 requested an interview with the mayor to discuss these accusations, and while he refused to go on camera his office sent this statement:
“Theses are empty accusations from a councilor who has been biased against this administration from day one.”
Then went on to defend the purchase of the field saying:
“The OIG report was misinformed. Under their logic, CABQ could not buy a track for the Lobos, netting for the Isotopes, or turf for the United; all of which we have done for years. This is a City-owned resource sponsored by Albuquerque legislators. It was not a gift to a team and the City Attorney agrees it is not a violation of the anti-donation clause.”
But Sanchez disagrees saying Albuquerque’s tax dollars weren’t even spent in Albuquerque.
“We need more accountability within city government that’s the bottom line, if we don’t hold city government accountable with our money that is hurting our taxpayers and we can’t do that,” said Sanchez.
In his letter, Sanchez also asked the attorney general to investigate Keller’s use of taxpayer dollars to pay an Albuquerque Journal reporter to write a book about him.
A representative for the attorney general’s office says they have received Sanchez’s letter and are reviewing the documents.