Letter To The Editor: Restore Office Of Sheriff Duties

By GREG WHITE
Los Alamos

Open letter to the Council and all citizens of Los Alamos County concerning the illegal activity of the Council from last year until now in regard to the Office of Sheriff of Los Alamos County, giving the Council chair until Monday close of business to postpone the scheduled meeting until Thursday night so as to be able to revise the agenda to include the Sheriff’s budget and meet the required 72 hour notice for agenda publication, as well as leave the County one business day before the new fiscal year starts Saturday to make the necessary changes to comply with state law for review by the state Accounting office.

The Council has ignored the will of the people by doing away with the Sheriff through the budget process when the people expressly said they want a fully functional Sheriff. I remind the council the NM Constitution clearly states that the PEOPLE retain ALL power.
 
Mr. Izraelevitz and the councilors have had since Jan. 1 to undo the illegal Resolution 16-10. They have chosen not to using a variety of excuses that don’t hold water. Most notably that one or more council members could not be physically present at a meeting. This has never stopped council before as only four members are needed for a quorum or to pass anything. As well as absent members have always had the ability to, and do all the time, call in and listen to and be heard at meetings. An equally poor excuse is that Chair Izraelevitz controls the agenda. This is simply a lie as Charter section 202.2 states any five registered voters of the county can put anything at all on the agenda with 10 days notice. I assume all the councilors are registered so any would only need to find four other people to sign the request.
 
I can assure everyone that if I hadn’t been stuck in the Houston VA receiving treatment to save my legs until last Thanksgiving we wouldn’t be discussing this now. The Sheriff would have his budget and several of the last council would be starting their corruption trials about now. This is not hyperbole. As I noted in a previous letter my complaints to the FBI while I resided in Las Vegas, Nevada resulted in six of seven County Commissioners being lead from the County building in handcuffs and doing time in federal prison for corruption. Even the Los Angeles Times did a story on four of them see: http://articles.latimes.com/2003/dec/21/nation/na-strippers21  and the Nevada Journal did an article on an overreaching Commission and how they created corruption see: http://nevadajournal.com/2011/03/01/county-commissions-control-identified-major-source-umc-problems/.
 
I would have forced the issue and gotten four other signatures on my own request but only found out about the situation of the office of Sheriff shortly before the budget hearings in April (no Internet in VA hospital intensive care units) and then allowed for Mr. Sheehey to advance his Resolution, which unfortunately just like his immigrant resolution appears to just have been political grandstanding. Why he even had the gall to grandstand at the Undersheriff’s funeral.
 
The council has less than no leg to stand on. As I’ve also previously noted my experience as a paralegal (paralegals do most if not all the research for lawyers). I have repeatedly urged the council’s attorney to examine the state Constitution, statues and especially case law; which, either he has not done or the council has chosen to ignore his warnings to them, that they will lose the lawsuit I will bring Tuesday if the meeting is not postponed or Friday if it is but council does not fund the Sheriff as required by the Charter, state law and the Constitution.
 
Even though I will certainly win at District level I will find something upon which to appeal, and again at appellate level so that we can finally set in stone from the state Supreme Court that which the legislature did in statue, reigning in an out of control renegade county. The legislature never intended for any county to have the power Los Alamos claims. This is evident not just in the laws but plainly so in the debates and joint resolution that paved the way for LA to incorporate. And the Supreme Court has already ruled several times that the history of the legislator and local politics IS admissible at trial. If LA actually had the power it claims then a literal reading let alone a liberal reading of the NM Constitution gives LA full authority to institute the death penalty for any felony. It gives LA full authority to actually declare itself it’s own country. Read Article 10 and see where that’s prohibited.
 
I like the Sheriff, but we are good acquaintances not personal friends. This debate about the office and duties of the Sheriff has raged since the first post Federal Govt. control Charter attempt in 1959, until now and will undoubtedly continue long past Sheriff Lucero’s term if not settled by the current Council with appropriate Charter action protecting the Sheriff’s role as primary conservator of the peace in a county. The council would be wise to take note the law says “county”, it does NOT say “unincorporated county”. The lawyer for the first successful Charter Commission in 1967 warned the county was trying to take powers it was not granted in the NM Constitution. The situation hasn’t changed in 58 years. The County Council has repeatedly tried to do away with the Sheriff, often in the past led by a power mad County Administrator, and the citizens have repeatedly told the council no!!!
 
The people want a functional elected Sheriff answerable to them to assure the Council doesn’t abuse its power and become corrupt (this dates all the way back to 1959). Something a Police Chief cannot do as his boss is the County Manager and his boss is the Council. The council has the ability to under the table order the firing of the Police Chief, which the County Manager can and will do, taking the heat and protecting the council. Without a functional Sheriff the Council can run wild as I’m discovering in several active investigations they are doing.
 
Let me conclude by saying, Mr. Izraelevitz and council I am truly sorry it’s come to this. I have always in the past been far more respectful to council than any one else, even addressing council as “honorable members” out of respect even if I wasn’t feeling it. I have always tried to address concerns and suggestions to the council in the best interest of the community not my own. Refer to the last electric rate increase, which I noted to council would personally hurt me being on a limited income but which I thought we needed as a community. Even though I’ve been totally disregarded except for the rate increase, which you were going to do anyway, no matter how simple and how great the idea was, like making a mixed use building a special permit, I continue to put the citizens of the county ahead of myself. I have my own opinions on what role the Sheriff’s office and Police should play in the county. But it’s just that, my opinion. What matters in this action is what is the law!!!
 
Either we’re a nation of laws or we aren’t! Council end your illegal rebellion and follow the law!
 
Sincerely and with what respect I can muster,

Greg White

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