City Council approves funds to review DOJ monitor
November 21, 2017 05:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Albuquerque City Council approved $25,000 to pay for an audit of the court-appointed monitor overseeing the Albuquerque Police Department's reform process.
The City Council voted 5-3 to approve the audit of independent monitor James Ginger Monday night. The councilors who sponsored the measure what the auditor to look at Ginger's performance and where the more than $3 million the city has paid him has gone.
Ken Sanchez is one of three city councilors who sponsored the measure approving the audit of Ginger's work.
“I'm not questioning his work as the federal monitor. I think he's done a decent job,” Sanchez said. “But again I think it's important that the taxpayers of this community know where their money is going and if Dr. Ginger is appropriately spending that money.”
Since 2015, Sanchez said the city has paid Ginger $3.3 million of the $4.5 million it will pay him over his four-year contract.
“Basically, he stated he was going to be in Albuquerque 200 days per year or 800 days over the four-year period. That has not occurred, and I'm sure built into that was for housing and also for food allowances for him and his monitoring team,” Sanchez said. “And if he cannot be here because of his health I would hope that there would be somebody from his monitoring team that would be here.”
The audit comes just a week after a federal judge threw out a motion filed by the city accusing ginger of being biased against the city and APD.
But some are concerned. Councilor Diane Gibson voted against the audit, and she said she’s worried about the appearance of the audit's timing.
"The perception is definitely is in question whether it could be retaliation, although I don't believe that," she said.
Sanchez said the audit's timing wasn't intentional.
“I've been asking the question for several months now at council meeting, who was monitoring the monitor?” he said. “I think the taxpayers of this community deserve answers.”
Sanchez expects the audit to be complete in 30 to 60 days. The findings will be sent to the federal judge overseeing the settlement agreement.
Thousands of kits remain untested. Some date back to the 1980s.
Last month, the city was awarded a $2.5 million federal grant that will fund the contracts.
Council approves R-17-252; designates funding to Office of Internal Audit (OIA) to assist in expedited review of the DOJ Independent Monitor performance under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA)— Albuquerque City Council (@ABQCityCouncil) November 21, 2017
Council approves EC-17-477; approves contract with Sorensen Forensics and Bode Cellmark Forensics to provide sexual assault kit testing services— Albuquerque City Council (@ABQCityCouncil) November 21, 2017
Updated: November 21, 2017 05:32 PM
Created: November 21, 2017 06:47 AM
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