County Personnel Board Upholds Termination Of Former Los Alamos Police Sgt. Jordan Redmond

Attorney Tony Ortiz with the four members of the Personnel Board began hearing testimony at 9 a.m. and went into closed session at 3 p.m. Monday to deliberate. The court reporter looks on at right. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
During Monday’s County Personnel Board hearing, former LAPD Sgt. Jordan Redmond lost his appeal to get his job back. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
Following nearly six hours of testimony and 90 minutes of deliberation Monday, the Los Alamos County Personnel Board voted to uphold the termination of former Police Sgt. Jordan Redmond.

The board voted 4-0 to uphold the County’s ruling that there was good cause for the disciplinary action taken against Redmond. The board also voted 3-1 to uphold the County’s termination of Redmond from his employment with the Los Alamos Police Department.

Redmond, 32, was arrested Oct. 8 and charged under the Governmental Conduct Act, section 10.16.4.1, Honoraria prohibited, for accepting money for conducting a public duty as a police officer. The GCA forbids public officers from accepting payment or gifts of over $100 in value for performing services related to their official duties.

In a statement of probable cause filed Oct. 14, 2015 in Magistrate Court, Redmond was on duty June 6, 2014 and June 11, 2014 when he provided a police department tour for a group of students. Court documents indicate that he submitted time sheets for those two days and was paid his regular hourly wage by Los Alamos County. He also accepted $300 from UNM-LA for those same days.

The official charge of “engaging in an act for personal financial gain” filed against Redmond followed an internal investigation that began last summer and concluded in September.

“The decision of the Personnel Board is the final administrative decision of the County,” Attorney Tony Ortiz said of Monday’s decision. Ortiz of Ortiz & Zamora LLC in Santa Fe guided the board and attorneys through Monday’s hearing. He commended all involved including the audience for their professionalism during Monday’s hearing.

During closing arguments, Assistant County Attorney Katie Thwaits told the board that the case boiled down to three things:

  • A payment of $300 was offered to Sgt. Redmond;
  • Tours were made on County time; and
  • Sgt. Redmond accepted the $300 without notifying the police chief or the HR department, which is “cause alone for termination.”

She went on to say that Redmond not only broke the law but he violated several County policies and rules. He held a position of public trust and once a police officer has been proven and admits to taking $300, there is no other option but termination, she said.

Police Chief Sgambellone was questioned at Monday’s hearing about Redmond’s termination.

“Trust within the community is the cornerstone of an effective police department,” Sgambellone said. He added that police are held to a higher standard and must conduct themselves honorably and with integrity. “It’s incumbent upon us to ensure our officers meet and maintain that standard … once an officer’s credibility has been compromised, his effectiveness is ruined and he has forever tainted himself as an officer…”

Redmond and his attorney expressed that taking the $300 was a mistake, that Redmond hadn’t actually realized what he was being paid for.

“I don’t believe it was a mistake and if it was he shouldn’t be a police officer … in any police department,” Sgambellone said.

In his closing remarks, Attorney Tim Butler told the board that they were the only ones in the community with the power to do something.

“He’s losing his home, he has been fired and his reputation is ruined,” Butler said. He added that the police investigation was incomplete and inaccurate. Redmond’s attorney Tim Butler provided the Los Alamos Daily Post with the following statement a few hours after the hearing closed.

“Of course we are disappointed by the result. Jordan is an honorable man and a huge asset to the community,” Butler said. “We respect the time and effort put in by the Personnel Board members. A special thanks to those who showed up in support of Jordan at the hearing and to the many others who have helped Jordan and his family over the past few months.”

The other parties involved in the case did not want to make a statement following Monday’s verdict.

Scenes From Monday’s Hearing:

It was standing room only for Monday’s hearing in the Boards and Commissions conferance room in the Municipal Building, which was filled with Jordan Redmond’s family, including Redmond’s father Bill Redmond, center, as well as friends and community members. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tim Butler questions Cpl. Stephens. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Assistant County Attorney Katie Thwaits questions Sgt. Daniel Roberts who led the investigation into former Sgt. Jordan Redmond’s actions. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Jordan Redmond, right, and his lawyer Tim Butler. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tim Butler questions Sgt. Daniel Roberts. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Deputy County Manager Brian Bosshardt swears to tell the truth at Monday’s hearing. He oversees the HR department at the County and said he reviewed Redmond’s case and agreed with the police findings and termination. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tony Ortiz, center, guides Monday’s hearing. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone testifies at Monday’s hearing as Personnel Board Chair Beth Honea listens at right. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tim Butler questions Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone  as Assistant County Attorney Katie Thwaits makes a note at left during Monday’s hearing. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Middle School Principal Mike Johnson swears to tell the truth. He was vice principal at Los Alamos High School in 2014 when Jordan Redmond was the School Resource Officer. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tim Butler questions Mike Johnson about an email related to the case. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Assistant County Attorney Katie Thwaits questions Mike Johnson about the same email questioned by attorney Tim Butler and asks him to reveal the redacted name of an employee mentioned in the email related to payments. Johnson refused saying the request would have to be made to the central administration office, which in turn would advise him on what to do. Attorney Tony Ortiz explained that if they had subpoenaed Johnson then he would have had the authority to order him to reveal the name. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Assistant County Attorney Katie Thwaits speaks to attorney Tony Ortiz. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Audience members listen to testimony at Monday’s hearing. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tony Ortiz keeps Monday’s hearing on track. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

People mingle and some step out of the room during a break in Monday’s hearing. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Personnel Board members take advantage of a brief break to check their phones for messages. From left, Chair Beth Honea, Yolanda Brewer, Leslie Geyer and Lisa Zuhn. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Shortly before going into closed session at 3 p.m. to deliberate Monday, Attorney Tony Ortiz calls the attorneys to speak with him in private. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Katie Thwaits delivers closing remarks on behalf of the County. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney Tim Butler delivers closing remarks on Jordan Redmond’s behalf. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The board reconvenes at 4:37 p.m. Monday after 90 minutes of deliberation and announces its decision to uphold the County’s ruling. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Jordan Redmond, right, listens as the board renders its verdict to uphold his termination following nearly six hours of testimony and 90 minutes of deliberation. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

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