ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – In response to a KRQE News 13 investigation, some Albuquerque city councilors are now asking for the city to take a closer look at a long list of expenses that an attorney and former police chief have charged the City of Albuquerque in their work on the Department of Justice and city agreement on the Albuquerque Police Department.
In the first three and a half months of their contract with the city, attorney Scott Greenwood and former Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher have made around $200,000 in attorney’s fees.
However, it’s what the city has paid for on top of that that including expensive hotel bills, meals with alcoholic drinks and first-class plane tickets that has at least one city councilor calling for an audit.
“It looks like some of those expenses were probably not justified,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Brad Winter.
“I am very concerned about some of the expenditures,” said Ken Sanchez, president of the Albuquerque City Council.
Councilors on both sides of the aisle are now calling for a closer look at exactly what outside attorneys Scott Greenwood and Thomas Streicher have charged the city in the last six months they took to negotiate the now signed consent decree between Albuquerque Police and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I will be asking for an audit,” said Sanchez.
Council President Ken Sanchez says he wants the city to re-review the duo’s expense receipts.
“I support their services because they’ve done a great job for the City of Albuquerque, but I definitely will question the expenditures,” said Sanchez.
In the first three months of the duo’s contract, the city picked up the tab for $25,000 worth of meals, hotel bills and travel costs.
News 13 first reported how some of the attorney’s bills included alcoholic drinks like $30 spent on margaritas at Church Street Café and $8.50 for beer at Rudy’s.
At other restaurants including Q-Burger and The Library Bar and Grill in downtown Albuquerque, the attorneys did not include an itemized list of what was ordered.
There’s also hotel bills for Greenwood topping $300 a night at Hotel Andaluz and a $100 bill for his pet to stay at the Residence Inn.
“We need to do a better job,” said Councilor Brad Winter.
Winter says he takes issue with the city’s risk management department, the city attorney’s office and an outside consulting firm that reviewed and approved Greenwood and Streicher’s bills.
“I think that process failed,” said Winter.
Winter says the city needs to do a better job tracking the money.
“They did a good job, but it’s the city responsibility to make sure that they look at these expenses and make sure that they’re viable expenses,” said Winter.
Those $25,000 worth of expenses were just through the end of July. Greenwood and Streicher have had another three-and-a-half months to rack up expenses since then. Those expenses haven’t been billed to the city yet.
Albuquerque city council has already approved $220,000 in attorney’s fees for Greenwood and Streicher, which does not include the $25,000 worth of expenses.
The city attorney is asking for another $280,000 to cover work the two have done since August. Many city councilors News 13 spoke to on Tuesday say they plan on approving the request.