State Auditor criticizes amount of lawsuit payouts paid by city

State Auditor Tim Keller

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lawsuit payouts made by the city of Albuquerque is drawing the criticism of the state auditor. But the city isn’t buying the auditor’s motive.

Rob Perry, the city’s chief administrative officer says that in an unlikely move, Auditor Tim Keller added a cover letter to the annual audit. It focused on the amount of money the city has paid out in lawsuits concerning the Albuquerque Police Department.

The audit, done by a firm chosen by the city, shows the city has $62 million in payouts since 2010.

But in a letter to the auditor, the city says the audit shows the city finances are just fine, and questions Keller’s concentration on the payouts because he’s running for mayor.

“I can’t comment on the state auditor or the mayor candidate’s motivations. I want to take them as an honest broker, and doing his job I think that he’d also recognize that the audit itself had very high marks for the city,” Perry said.

“I think the city at this point, instead of trying to make it political and deflect from the work that needs to be done, they should just fix the problem,” Keller said.

Keller said the city’s risk management fund is draining and the city will have to put in double to preserve it.

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