ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – City council has agreed to move forward with an audit that would look into the performance of Dr. James Ginger, the court-appointed monitor overseeing the Albuquerque Police Department reform efforts.
The city council voted in favor of the measure Monday, saying that it will give them tangible evidence going forward to be able to present to a judge if any more issues arise. They also say it will help the council pick his budget.
City Council voted 5-3 in favor of spending $25,000 to have the city’s internal auditor make sure that the money that is being paid is equal to the work that Dr. Ginger is completing.
“They would have additional information about based on current language of settlement agreement how much work is required by the monitor, how much time and expense is going into fulfilling those functions and what adjustments need to be made either upward or downward in terms of a budget based on what work needs to be performed,” said Jessica Hernandez, city attorney.
Hernadez called the measure a “fact-gathering exercise” for city council, saying that this audit will help the council select a budget for Dr. Ginger going forward.
As the agreement states right now, a budget has been established for Ginger for four years, but a new budget must be selected for year five and six, if necessary.
The measure comes at a time when tensions have been high after the city filed a motion arguing that Ginger was biased against APD. However, that motion was dismissed by the judge.
Those against the resolution, including Diane Gibson, Isaac Benton and Klarissa Pena say this is just bad timing.
“For me, I just have reservations because we are investigating the investigators,” said Pena.
The sponsors of the resolution, Brad Winter, Don Harris, and Ken Sanchez say that this is necessary for making sure that taxpayer money is being spent appropriately.
The city has paid Ginger over $3.3 million over the last three years after a settlement agreement between APD and the Department of Justice was established in 2014.
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