Opinion – Please Harold, Just Stop

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January 28, 2024, 5:06 pm

By: Opinion Piece

Posted: 01/28/2024 @ 10:00AM

Watching APD Chief Harold Medina’s media blitz and press conferences reminds us of Charles Barkley talking to Peyton Manning, “Man what are you doing?”

Ever since the FBI investigation into Medina’s DWI Unit surfaced on January 18, 2024, Medina has given interviews that show him to either be a babbling idiot or someone deeply involved and trying to divert attention to someone, anyone, else.

Medina has done media interviews where he alluded to knowing everything because he had started his own secret investigation in December of 2022 (KOB). He made the listener believe that he had been investigating this scandal for months, saying it was he that passed the information to the FBI in October 2023. He even tried to drag District Attorney Sam Bregman into this mess by making the listener believe that he and Bregman went to the FBI together.

This fell apart when he interviewed with the Albuquerque Journal and admitted that he didn’t do much of an investigation in December 2022. He never goes into details on this investigation, other than to say it was closed quickly. He clarifies that he turned over what little he had done to the FBI in October 2023, but only after Bregman had notified him that he had already gone to the FBI with his own information on potential DWI Unit criminal activity.  In an interview with ABQRAW, Bregman makes it very clear, he never was working with Medina on this issue.

Medina also states, “,,,,, glad that this administration has been able to bring this to light (the DWI investigation).”  But Medina and Keller did NOT bring this to light. Medina admits that he never told the FBI about the December 2022 investigation (whatever that was) for ten months! He only went to the FBI with it once DA Bregman told him that he had already reported his own information on DWI corruption to the FBI.  No Harold, you and Mayor Tim Keller did not bring this to light.

Medina then failed to show up to a city council meeting, probably a good thing at the time. The councilors were very clear that they had expected to hear from Medina (or Keller) after the FBI raids of January 18, as a courtesy. The council didn’t want to know about the investigation (something Medina doesn’t know much about either), they just wanted the administration to notify them of the FBI investigation. Both Medina and Keller failed to notify the council after the FBI investigation was exposed. Medina at first tries to change the narrative, by making you believe the council wanted to know about the investigation before January 18.  This is untrue. At a subsequent press conference Medina walked back what he said about the council and admitted they only wanted to know after the FBI investigation was announced. It’s enough to give you whiplash. 

Medina, when asked how this corruption could have gone on for over a decade, replies that “they were very good at hiding this.” This is incorrect.  A more truthful statement would have been, the people in charge at APD (Medina included) were incompetent at uncovering it.

Medina tried to sell a story about how APD didn’t have access to Metro Court and officers missing court, until two weeks ago.  This flies in the face of what KOB and KOAT both reported. We know this because since 2007 (KOB reporting) APD has had in place the technology at Metro Court to monitor officers missing court. This was enacted because of the many audits into APD overtime over the last fifteen years. It appears that APD Command, of which Medina was a part of during most of this time, either ignored officers missing court, didn’t care or were incompetent at seeing trends of certain officers missing court. KOAT interviewed local attorney and former APD Police Sergeant Thomas Grover who confirmed the same. Medina is clearly misleading the citizens.

Of course Mayor Keller got into the “divert attention to anyone else but my administration” by telling KOAT, ”APD, to my understanding, is not the only agency being looked at.”

This was immediately disputed by Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen who said (regarding Keller’s statement), “ that is an irresponsible statement coming from an elected official.”  Allen nails it when he says of Keller’s statement, “ it’s a tactic for deflection. (Keller) should pay attention to his own agency”.

These are but a few of the inconsistencies in Medina’s statements to the public regarding the DWI scandal that is rocking his department. Since it is an FBI investigation, Medina should not be commenting at all to respect the integrity of this federal investigation.

In just the last 24 hours, Medina has taken it upon himself to notify the Public Defender’s Office that “multiple attorneys in the Public Defender’s Office shared concerns about Thomas Clear III (the targeted attorney), but upper management (at the Public Defender’s Office) ignored them.”  Thanks Harold, you just made public that the Public Defender’s Office might be a target of the FBI investigation! In his attempt to cover his own butt, Medina has now released confidential information regarding the FBI investigation to potential targets.  Harold, shut up!

The one thing that Medina says that is true, “the actions of a few always tarnish a bunch.” In this case Medina’s babbling, incoherent, confusing, incorrect and contradictory statements regarding this FBI investigation are tarnishing everyone at the Albuquerque Police Department.  Harold needs to stop trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, shut up and let the FBI and US Attorney make any future comments.

This FBI investigation is too important to allow APD Chief Medina to continue making statements regarding it. Medina is very close to harming the FBI investigation, if he hasn’t already. It is beyond time for the United States Attorney for New Mexico, Alexander M. M. Uballez to issue a formal directive to Medina and Keller to stop making any comments regarding the FBI investigation into corruption at APD. The only person the community needs to hear from regarding the FBI investigation is the guy in charge, that’s Mr. Uballez.

ABQ RAW welcomes all opinions and anyone can submit their content to post in our opinion section.

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