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Staff, interim boss say Corrections Dept. needs new direction

By   /   October 28, 2011  /   News  /   No Comments

Ask the guy in charge. Ask those working there. They’ll as likely as not tell you there’s something wrong at New Mexico’s Corrections Department.

In the next days and weeks, new leaders will be chosen and tasked with turning around the troubled department. Interviews were reportedly scheduled Friday with two out-of-state candidates for cabinet-level leadership positions. The announcement of an appointee is expected to soon follow.

The Watchdog also learned department officials have completed interviews and recommended candidates for three warden positions that have remained unfilled for months. We uncovered documents showing that three candidates were offered those warden jobs in early September, but in each case, turned them down.

What problems will new department leaders face, and how will New Mexicans know when the department has turned a corner? We asked one of the department’s interim leaders.

“Realities and perceptions can come together to create a situational awareness where we’ve probably got some things that need to be fixed,” said interim deputy Sec. Of Corrections Gregg Marcantel, who currently pulls double duty at Corrections and as Deputy Secretary of Public Safety.

One of the realities facing the department is a large number of long term vacancies. As of Friday, seven of 10 top-level jobs were vacant or filled by interim leaders. Corrections has a greater portion of its top level jobs unfilled than any other state agency. Throughout the department, one in four jobs are vacant, including about one out of four security-sensitive positions.

If the department worked under the same rules as private contractors that operate four prisons in the state, the department might be considering whether to assess itself penalties for the prolonged vacancies. The problem runs deeper than that.

In the past two years, the department has accumulated a long list of real or perceived problems. The department’s problems for years have repeatedly been the subject of news headlines and media investigations.

A facilities manager was convicted of taking bribes. An audit found likely or potential procurement problems that went far beyond the bribes paid to that one facilities manager.

In August, a senior parole officer was was indicted for child porn police found on a thumb drive and on his home computer. He claimed his interest was work related.

Whistleblowers in the same department last year found threats scrawled on an employee bulletin board.

Employees were instructed to falsify records. One probation officer alleges in a lawsuit she was beat up in an on-the-job training class after she complained she was instructed to falsify records. Another’s federal lawsuit alleges sexual discrimination.

The director of the Probation and Parole division was suspended for leading employees on an out-of-town excursion to her birthday party in state vehicles. Undocumented and unauthorized use of state vehicles continued nonetheless.

Gov. Susanna Martinez, with the help of her transition team, in December picked long time warden Lupe Martinez to replace Joe Williams as Secretary of Corrections. Lupe Martinez held the job down for eight months. She left just days after her boyfriend, Larry Flynn, discharged a pistol – reportedly at rattlesnakes – outside a prison-grounds home the two shared.

Flynn, a senior probation-and-parole official and former Internal Affairs investigator who was both Sec. Martinez’s subordinate and live-in boyfriend, was already on paid leave while under investigation for padding time cards. As of Oct. 1, Flynn remained on the state payroll, collecting a $59,196-a-year paycheck according to a state organizational listing. Results of the investigation aren’t likely to be made public, a department spokesman said.

Good-ole-boys and revolving doors

As the first woman to take the helm of New Mexico’s Corrections Department, Lupe Martinez took the top job from Joe Williams, who directed the department during the administration of Gov. Bill Richardson. An uproar of complaints during Williams’ tenure suggested the department under his command had become the domain of a “good ‘ole boys’” network. His leadership was defined in media accounts by his refusal to levy potentially millions of dollars in penalties against operators of private prisons who failed to maintain contractual staffing levels.

Williams was also panned in some reports for being part of a revolving-door relationship between private prison operators and the state corrections departments. He joined the department after working for GEO Group and has since returned to work there after his tenure as Secretary of Corrections in New Mexico. GEO was among the major contributors to Gov. Susanna Martinez’s campaign, providing $33,000 (0.44 percent as her nineteenth largest contributor) to her 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Among the first tasks New Mexico’s next Secretary of Corrections will face will be to settle an ongoing dispute between GEO and the state about penalties for under-staffing the Lea County Correctional Facility. In a letter obtained by the Watchdog, former Sec. Lupe Martinez noted the Hobbs facility had only half the number of required correctional officers for 11 days in February, and less than 40 percent the contractually required number on Feb. 3 and 4.

Sec. Martinez told the company they would be assessed $185,606 in penalties against their September payment. GEO disputed the method by which staff shortages were assessed, asserting that vacant positions had not remained unfilled for more than 30 days. The company also proposed a different method for calculating daily pay on which penalties are based.

Citing the lack of a Consumer-Price-Index related increase in their past two year’s contracts, and reductions in inmate populations at facilities they manage, GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley replied that the possibility of vacancy penalties would “force GEO to seek re-negotiation of the contract at an appropriately higher per-diem rate.” On Sept. 1, the day before Martinez resigned, he tendered a counteroffer of $81,484 in vacancy deductions based on the company’s calculations.

One candidate who offered her resume as the new Secretary of Corrections blasted Williams’ influence on Martinez’s transition team. Erma Sedillo, who served as Deputy Secretary under Williams from 2003 through 2008 said in an e-mail to Gov. Martinez’s office, “I believe some of the transition team members were influenced by Joe Williams who’s a nice guy but not ethical or credible.”

Sedillo said the relationship between state officials and private prison operators had become too cozy. “You can’t be friends with them. It has to be a partnership,” Sedillo said in an interview.

She noted that members of Martinez’ transition team had shared a lunch with Williams. “I guess they all go out and have drinks. If it’s a woman at the helm she’s not going to go out and have drinks because everybody’s gonna say your sleeping with them.”

As of Thursday, Sedillo said she’d not been contacted for an interview for the cabinet position. Her name was among nine identified in resumes the governor’s office provided in response to a request to inspect documents related to the selection of new cabinet officials.

If she’s not picked, it wouldn’t be because of her former role in the Richardson administration, she said. It’s because she’s outspoken – and because of what she sees as a good-ole-boys’ network of which she said Williams is a part.

Trouble at the helm

Asked what it would take to turn the department around, Sedillo was on the same page as several department sources who spoke to the Watchdog both on the record and anonymously.

“When you run prisons you have to be consistent in those policies, you have to be consistent in every thing you do,” Sedillo said. If not, “those inmate see it’s weak. That’s compromising the safety.”

Her comment mirrored Marcantel’s answer when asked how New Mexicans would know things are in order behind the cloistered walls of New Mexico prisons, and among the probation and parole officers who supervise those who run afoul of the law.

“I think how you see that is you see someone there that’s promoting the notion that what we are about is the core value of justice,” Marcantel said.

While the department’s problems have more or less flapped in the breeze of public discussion for all to see, department spokesman Shannon McReynolds said inside the walls no unusual unrest among inmates has been documented. His assessment mirrored assertions in GEO Group’s exchange related to vacancies in private facilities – audits have not identified indicators of unusual problems among inmates.

Inmates may not be in an uproar, but that’s not an indication the system is accomplishing what society pays for. Whether the complaints among staff, probation officers, management and private-prison operators are real or perceived, “they need to be addressed,” Marcantel said. “If we’re ever going to make that better, we’re going to have to acknowledge it. Perceptions are reality.”

“If I were an organizational physician, the first thing I would look at is the amount of grievances,” Marcantel told the Watchdog during an interview earlier this week.

A retired commander for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Dept. before he took a second chair at DPS and an interim post at Corrections, Marcantel said he doesn’t consider himself part of long-term management at Corrections. During his interim role, he is determined to get a handle on problems while not upstaging whomever soon steps in to lead the department. He praised the staff that has remained with the department, and placed problems squarely on the shoulders of leadership.

Bad Apples? Check the barrel

If there seem to be bad apples in the ranks, he said, the department needs to look at the barrel rather than singling out what appear to be a few bad apples. In his assessment, the way the department operates “rises and falls on the issue of leadership.”

“There hasn’t been a strong vision — a strong constancy of purpose articulated for these folks,” Marcantel said.

He’d earlier that day been in meetings discussing two grievances. In his view, way employee grievances are addressed can be indicators of how well a system is administered. “If there are a lot and they are being managed too high up in the management structure, we’ve got cancer.”

Numbers of grievances over a long period of time might be difficult to compare, but it’s clear that some of the recent grievances have gone beyond the department’s top offices. One employee was reinstated after a district court intervened in 2006. Several others have also appealed personnel actions to the state personnel board and to district courts.

Another former probation officers’ lawsuit based on a complaint that she was beaten during a job-related defensive tactics class because she’d refused to comply with a supervisor’s order to illegally destroy records remains pending in district court. That officer said she has since moved to a different state to find work in more amenable environment.

The state Environment Department eventually found that defensive tactics class not to comply with federal workplace safety rules. An internal audit had found the training practices acceptable. Another probation officer’s case, still pending in federal court, alleges gender-related discrimination.

Probation officers take laundry list to Lt. Gov.

If problems floating to the top levels of administration indicate a problem, there’s been a problem for at least a couple of years. Several Corrections employees’ grievances made it all the way to the top of state government. Nonetheless, the grieved employees said they found no resolution there.

In October, 2009, nine probation and parole employees showed a letter detailing their grievances to various officials in their chain of command. They eventually delivered it to Lt. Gov. Dianne Denish.

In that letter, they complained of:

  • nepotism,
  • injuries resulting from a defensive tactics class taught by an instructor who lacks the required training to teach such a class,
  • workplace safety problems – including lack of repairs to a rented building whose owner was a donor to Richardson’s campaigns,
  • unfairness in who is selected for firearms training,
  • probation officers remaining on the job after being arrested for domestic violence,
  • retaliation against whistleblowers,
  • disparity of treatment among different employees,
  • discrimination,
  • wrongful termination and
  • improper use of internal investigations.

In their letter, the probation officers named names of alleged wrongdoers and provided their own names. The Watchdog obtained the letter and has made it available – without the names of those accused or those making the accusations. Read the redacted version of that letter here.

One of the signors said she’s since had trouble finding work, despite submitting scores of applications to other public agencies. The reason? She said the state human-resources department is telling potential employers she couldn’t be rehired at the state, even though she gave two weeks notice. She says she’s a victim of retaliation for filing work-related grievances.

Several department employees were willing to speak to the Watchdog provided their names were not disclosed. One long-time senior employee working in an administrative office said, as conditions at the department deteriorated, he’d compiled a list of indicators of a dysfunctional organization, based on sources he found online. Each of those indicators, he said, he’d seen at play in the department where he works. That lengthy list includes:

  • conspicuous value statements based on vague, immeasurable terms
  • those who voice concerns are identified as having personality defects rather than having made real observations
  • problems are attributed to training or policy but never to management deficiencies
  • conflicting messages are delivered with a straight face
  • people are discouraged from documenting matters in writing
  • the history of the department is regularly revised to fit a favorable narrative
  • directives are ambiguous and vaguely threatening
  • management presents approaches from the latest best-seller and claims that’s what they’ve already been doing
  • rules are enforced based on who you are rather than on what you do
  • information is used as a weapon
  • meetings are purposeless, or deliver information rather than solve problems
  • decisions are made at the highest possible levels

To whatever extent the department’s overall functions became impaired in recent years, individuals who remain with the department for the most part have kept themselves together, Marcental said. “I see right now in an intimate way the work, creativity and professionalism that’s going on behind those walls. That hasn’t been nurtured.”

That empty feeling

As for the vacancies, the state spent money to sort through more than 60 candidates, conducting interviews among 18 for three wardens positions only to have the chosen candidates decline offers in September because of “mis-communication” with candidates, Marcantel said.

The department offered jobs at facilities other than those candidates thought they’d applied for, he said. In the second round of interviews, Marcantel said, the department was more careful only to interview candidates for particular positions who were interested in working at particular facilities.

Staff-level vacancies grew during a recent state hiring freeze, but vacancies are being filled, and corrections officers are being trained, McReynolds said. Nonetheless, Corrections has a higher proportion of vacancies than all but four other state agencies with more than 100 employees.

With nearly one in four of 2,526 Corrections  jobs vacant, the vacancy rate is well above the current executive-branch rate of 21.7 percent of all jobs unfilled. A spokesperson for Gov. Martinez said some of the vacancies in executive agency jobs might not need to be filled.

“Just as families are doing more with less, the Governor believes government can do the same; after all, government did grow beyond justification during the past eight years,” said Scott Darnell, public information officer at the governor’s office.

“Governor Martinez has been diligent in trimming the number of political appointees in state government, and she has asked agencies and departments to evaluate whether positions that have been vacant for a very long time are necessary to accomplish their mission and provide a high level of customer service to taxpayers,” Darnell said.

Marcental said recruiting probation officers hasn’t been that difficult. The problem is keeping them on the job once hired. That can be a factor of misguided expectations about a difficult line of work, but one probation officer who agreed to talk to the Watchdog provided his name not be disclosed attributed the short tenure to management problems.

That probation officer said whomever is appointed Secretary of Corrections needs to initiate a thorough review of those who remain in senior  and mid-management positions. The man, who worked a previous career as a law enforcement officer in another state, said the average tenure of young probation officers in New Mexico these days is only about 3 years.

“You get these young kids in here, just out of college, they do it for a couple of years and get disgusted with it,” the man said.

The reason he offered for such short tenure was the same as that the Watchdog heard from source after source, male and female alike – a good-ole-boy man network that made professional personnel management difficult.

Change gonna come

Whatever direction it moves the troubled Corrections Department, change is in the wind, and soon. Acting Sec. Alfonso Solis, who in his day job is Roswell Police Chief and once was U.S. marshal for the District of New Mexico, told a legislative committee last week the Governor’s office had interviews scheduled for late this week with two out-of-state candidates and would likely appoint a secretary soon after.

Using the state’s sunshine law, the Watchdog obtained a stack of resumes that had been submitted to the governor’s office for the cabinet post, but we have no way of knowing if that list includes all the names under consideration. The list includes:

  • David Diaz Huerta, the director of a federal corrections academy,
  • Erma Sedillo, the former Deputy Secretary from the Richardson administration,
  • Joseph Garcia, a deputy warden at a New Mexico prison,
  • Carl Rene ToresBijns, a retired corrections administrator from Arizona and New Mexico,
  • Howard L. Skolnik, who until earlier this year was Director of Nevada Dept. of Corrections,
  • Robert Smith, a shift-commander at the Santa Fe Penitentiary,
  • Daniel G. Ronay, a Chief Deputy Secretary of Corrections from Florida,
  • Robert C. Patton, a division director from Arizona Dept. of Corrections and
  • Richard Chilelli, Lieutenant at the correctional facility in Los Lunas.

The Watchdog also learned the name of a retired state police captain who was said to have interviewed for the job, but has not confirmed that the man is a candidate. It was not clear in all cases which of the candidates had approached the governor’s office and which, if any, had been recruited.

None of the resumes the Watchdog reviewed included reference to extensive work in privately operated prisons. Robert Smith’s resume lists brief experience as a shift commander at the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility, which is operated by GEO Group. GEO and Corrections Corporation of America operate four privately run facilities in New Mexico that, together, house about 42 percent of the state’s inmate population.

Among the documents obtained from the governors’ office was one that detailed a legal case against Daniel G. Ronay arising from his work at Illinois Dept. of Corrections. A woman alleged Ronay’s gender-oriented comments to her coworkers created a hostile workplace. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed lower court rulings when they found his comments to others did not creat a hostile workplace for the woman who brought the lawsuit.

Ronay retired from the U.S. Army as a First Sergeant. He supervised combat troops in Iraq, served as a U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor and oversaw detainee operations at Tal’ Afar in Iraq.

Although New Mexico’s Corrections Department includes some of the darkest memories in U.S. prison history – the 1980 riot that left 33 inmates dead and 7 of 12 guards taken hostage injured – the system has also enjoyed periods of relative calm and progress. A consent decree that resulted from settlement of a lawsuit arising from the riot set in motion, among other reforms, efforts to begin formal training of corrections officers. The decree was finally lifted under the administration of Rob Perry, who served as Secretary from 1997 to 2002.

Outside his role as department spokesman, McReynolds said he thought Perry “was the best Secretary this department ever had.”

Perry initiated a department-wide data system, implemented a “security group” policy that identified prison gangs, and started work on a revised inmate classification system.


  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    To nm watchdog i truly love you. To my beautiful redheaded friiend your imjuries were not in vain. The feds have the tapes now.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    Watchdog the letter attachment wont download. Can you please fix the letter attachment to diane denish. Thanks so much!

  • David Collins

    It downloads on my system. For me, if I click either the link to the letter or the image of the letter, it opens. Then, I have to hover over the bottom-center of the window where the letter opens and an otherwise invisible Adobe PDF control-panel appears. The left-most icon on that panel looks like an old floppy disk. When I click that, it downloads.

    There are other ways to present PDF’s online. When I get some time, I’ll try to look into it.

  • Lydia

    Mr. Collins,

    Fantastic article ! This is truly the most in depth look into the problems at DOC that I’ve seen.

    Question now is, what’s next ? Is it business as usual at DOC or will anything change from what the dept can no longer say they have no knowledge of ??

    The dictatorship of Charlene Knipfing: The unqualified “housewife” with no experience, no college degree, and no training managed to escalate the dept to a 70% turnover rate. With a leader “asleep at the wheel” the dept ran amuck. Qualified employees quickly exited when they saw the ship was sinking.

    What did Knipfing know about Franco? Alot. She knew about the sexual harassment, his checkered past and much, much more. Still she promoted and empowered him.

    Still, Knipfing remains on the taxpayers dime in the Corrections Dept. as a governor’s appointee to the tune of 100K a year.

  • Poindexter

    Dear Shannon McReynolds;

    Part of the problem is a denial that there is a problem, which seems to follow with a rationalization that there is a concern for everyone’s well being. If it wasn’t so hypocritical, it would be very amusing.

    Lori Chapman didn’t just exist out of thin air. In New Mexico the privatization of prisons is very close to 50 percent; highlighting the magnitude of “cost” to the “State Taxpayer”, especially after fraud is factored into the equation.

    The Prison building business and the contracting involved to fill and maintain the positions to run those facilities is indeed a lucrative business. This raises another interesting discussion with regards to “Privatization” versus “Government” control of entities responsible for the Community’s safety.

    In any event, to lay the claim that Lori Chapman is an isolated incident at the very least “smacks” of incompetence from all of those involved with overseeing the building and staffing of those Prisons. Meanwhile, to “muddy the water”, all it takes is one outrageous allegation or “blogger” to shield the guilty while continuous attempts are made to discredit the allegations of credible witnesses.

    This brings us back to Larry Flynn, Larry Franco and their Chain of Command. The formal complaints involving their actions cite a history of questionable behavior, do they not? Ironically, the Supervisor for the Officer from a previous story was also Larry Franco’s Supervisor. Perhaps it is not as ironic as it appears to be, as the stories of the so called “menial violations” begins to unfold and exposes a greater level of corruption.

    Are we to believe that Management was never made aware of Larry Franco’s past and behavior while serving Management as a Supervisor? Are we to believe that Larry Flynn the former Internal Affairs Investigator never investigated Larry Franco in any capacity?

    Those questions are a double edged sword, no way around it. What has already been proven exposes NMCD’s Administration to be less than forthcoming, yet complaining subordinates are lectured to that they are making the Department look ridiculous?

    I suspect the concerned employees making such claims are the small time players in all of this mess. To figure out how these stories evolved, one only has to look straight on up through the Chain of Command, unless of course one is naïve enough to assume that Management “sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil”.

    Well Shannon? Can your “Silver Tongue” address that one?

  • Chris

    It’s time to let go of the past people if you want to make any progress.

    I need some clarification: How is an Officer “beaten” during defensive tactics class? Did they just stand over her beating her with a baton? Did the others in the class just watch? This story and all of these false accusations have been bringing the moral of this department down for several years now. I think it’s time to look at those 9 individuals who point out everyones faults but their own! IT IS ALMOST 2012-THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN IN 2009.

    The 9 officers who submitted this memo:

    1. Didn’t pass the psych for the firearms and if they did, they didn’t pass the range to carry the firearm. If you didn’t pass the range, blaming the instructors is not going to cut it. What about the other 24 that did pass the range? Did they cheat?

    2. Domestic Violence always has two stories and the STIU Officer was not arrested or convicted just another victim himself of Amanda Lewis. And do you really believe the story of the supervisor arriving at the scene and what exactly did she do? The responding agency would have laughed at her-she doesn’t have that much pull.

    3. The Officer that was arrested in her office does not work for DOC any longer, so why dwell on the past-shes making double the money.

    4. Nicole Deaderick is now a dispatcher that couldn’t pass the psych or other LE physchs to carry a firearm so everyone else is to blame-go cry to Bouska. And when you take that many meds it’s against the law to carry a firearm.

    5. Pennell thinks NM should follow where he came from? He also is claiming to be bullied? Really? How old are you? Oh and he doesn’t feel he needs to do home checks on his offenders or follow policy.

    6. Bates and those Farmington officers have been on “light duty” for how long? Whats the point of being a PO if you’re always on “light duty”? What is light duty?

    7. Melanie Lujan is not a victim of HR bad mouthing, she was MIA! Oh and arrested at the probation office-she forgot to put that in her last tuff girl blog.

    8. OSHA is through the NM Environment Dept and are certified to make sure the mats are clean and sanitary and thats about it, they are not certified in defensive tactics to determine what should/shouldn’t be taught.

    9. Supervisors/Region Mangers cannot control the behavior of the officer, the officer is responsible for their own behavior-bottom line.

    10. Region Manger Elise obviously does not need a degree-shes acting Director and obviously has respect of whoever placed her in that position.

    11. The supervisor in Espanola has more credibility than any other officer in NMCD in the STATE, he is respected by all LE and deserves being the SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR-he buried his best friend (Officer Salazar) and did not ask for anything in return. PEOPLE give him some RESPECT.

    12. All of the defensive tactics instructors are certified to teach! All should listen and learn from them, they could help you save your life or your life of your partner-unless you’re on light duty then you don’t go out on the field so the rest of your peers who actually do their jobs and go out on the field.

    To all of those complaining about not being assigned a vehicle, it not about how long you have been on the job, it’s other factors that play out in the decision. If you are that miserable at NMCD by all means find another job. Those few 9 do not account for the entire dept-speak for you 9 only.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    To watchdog thats for the feedback on how to open the letter attachment. This is an amazing article

  • Lucas

    Larry Franco was shielded by a number of upper management. This includes Rose Bobchak. Rose knew everything but let’s just leave it at that.

    Rose’s husband, James, was sentenced to “supervised probation” in 2004 on CR 2003-00418 after a guilty plea for a felony drug charge. At his sentencing, it was pushed to the back of the docket and he was sentenced in an empty courtroom.

    James never reported to probation. He’s not in CMIS, never did drug testing and did not comply with any of the other imposed conditions. This is an obstruction of justice and criminal. Guess what … Charlene Knipfing knew all that too.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    Hey chris or should or should i say dan barela? I would have said joe barela but everyone knows he cant even spell his name because hes tossing down those margaritas from tomasitas

    Get a grip dan nobody respects you. Everybody remembers your birthday frolic with charlene knipfing. Nobody respects elsie either.. she has no college degree and is just plain out there. Everyone knows about your ethics.

  • Joey

    Cole, you poor sad soul. Your comment above at 2 in the morning proves you have no life. My name is Joey and I’m telling you Chris is not Daniel Barela. I’m not going to lower myself to your level but out of respect you should really stop your rude hidious comments. I could sit here and call you out as Nicole Deaderick, Leslie Daniels or the rest of you negative individuals but I won’t. Cole, you make the job uneasy. You are the officer that other agencies refuse to assist. You are the officer that doesn’t get asked for operations and its for a good valid reason-trust. How can anyone trust their coworker who acts like you Cole, I know who you are, you know who you are. You are a very lonely soul. To the the rest of NMCD Probation and Parole Officers be safe and watch your backs, not from your inmates or individuals on probation, from the ones you call coworkers.

    Semper Fi,


  • Darrel Bishop

    Maybe new leadership could look at the pay scale of Corrections employee’s

    and make any needed adjustments. Try and eliminate the have’s and the have

    not’s situation.

    Equality in pay is a big topic all over this nation and it might resolve some of the

    rage within Corrections and open the door to other changes.

  • Lucas

    “Chris”, another name change ??

    No “Chris” is not Dan, its Allen Dominguez. Sorry buddy, you tipped your hand. Nice how you side stepped the fact you have no college degree either.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    Didnt alan domimguez get busted for domestic violence? Why does he still carry a firearm?i know hes a good ole boy.

    This dept is corrupt.

  • Whatever

    Good to use a source like Erma Sedillo! She worked for King Richard under Joe Williams for over 6 years and now she is complaining??? Just because she retired and left with no real authority……for someone who was a Deputy

    Sec……..Bitter much? I think so! Get a better source for your dis-information.

    She was part of the problem 4 years ago how can she be a solution now?

  • C Chavez

    Hey Dumbinguez,

    You’re right. You’re special. You deserve a state car because of all the other “factors that play out in the decision”. You need a state car to drive to Hoop It Up in Abq with a switched out Texas plate on it. Is that illegal Dumbinguez ? What was your story .. oh yea you were chasing an absconder … while you’re playing basketball !!!!

    You’re a golden example of everything that’s wrong with probation and parole. The watchdog needs to follow you !

  • Sydney

    Welcome back Michael “Mike” Estrada as Community Corrections Administrator. Everyone who saw that position posted and had an opportunity to apply, please speak up.

    Oh thats right—NO ONE else.

    The date of the above letter is October 5, 2009 and the first topic is Hiring Practices. Nothing has changed. Positions are pulled out of the air and the “special person” is given the job. Yes, definitely lets have progress and move on.

    Interim Secretary Solis and Interim Deputy Marcantel this is on your supposed watch.

    The Topic of the Pay Period sounds wonderful. Too bad everything you write has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with NMCD. It is actually demoralizing to read about some leadership fantasy, then be immersed in the dysfuctional reality. Walk the talk or never mind.

    Semper Fi Joey

  • Roger

    Erma Sedillo, hopefully never again. She couldn’t even get rid of an actual employee embezzler.

    Erma helped form this sick department for years. If she had anything positive to contribute what happened when she was Deputy Secy for 5 years.

    If a Deputy Secy can’t do anything- eliminate the position.

    Pay equity…. she had to go when she wanted pay equity, – for herself…..

    Left to lead a whinefest for offenders with the misleading name of Restorative Justice. NMCD has BEEN THERE DONE THAT. No thanks.

  • Poindexter

    To Whom It May Concern;

    Let go of the past people?

    In October 2007 Larry Franco was caught tampering with the Union’s computer in the Farmington Office. A Prohibited Practice Complaint (PPC) was filed within the 6 month time frame allocated to file a PPC from the date of the initial incident; in this case October 2007. In June 2008 the PPC referenced was sustained along with a 30 day posting throughout NMCD’s bulletin boards. The ruling reads:

    “The Management of New Mexico Corrections Department acknowledges that there have been instances where there has been interference by PPO Supervisors into Internal Union Affairs. Most significant is the following incident that is admitted: A piece of AFSCME equipment was tampered with by a Supervisor in the Farmington area and a Data Reading device was removed from an AFSCME computer without the authorization of either the Local 2777 Union President or an AFSCME Representative”.

    Four years later in June 2011 Larry Franco was arrested. Subsequently, a Federal Grand Jury Indictment charged Mr. Franco with 6 counts for possession of Child Pornography on his home computer. What’s more, one of those counts was for possession of Child Pornography in October 2007! Again, four years later folks!

    Let go of the past people?

    If we go further back in time an “external” investigation “on the up and up” will reveal many Whistle Blowers shouting loud and clear that something was terribly wrong with Larry Franco.

    Many of those Whistle Blowers were also told to get on with there lives one way or the other. They were mocked, slandered, and harassed. Yet not a dam thing was done to stop Larry Franco, in fact Management had the arrogance to promote him.

    Let go of the past people?

    How convenient; just move on; stop complaining; be tough; your too soft, your not qualified; you can’t cut it; blah blah blah. It was that kind of sanctimonious macho rhetoric that Larry Franco was famous for.

    People’s lives were put in harms way by a man, and I use the term “man” loosely, who was known by his Chain of Command to have been “Dirty Cop”. So now I am reading those nine “Whistle Blowers” don’t speak for the entire Department, and you do? They may not always be speaking for me, but dam sure you’re not, and add to that list, the scum from IA and the Chain of Command that empowered Mr. Franco.

    The sad thing is Allen, you of all people should know better. Larry Franco told a lie about you, a lie that has Internal Affairs questioning your intent. The truth; a Pit Bull comes charging at an Officer. You shoot. The Pit Bull runs. You saved an Officer from harms way. Bravo, but you made one mistake.

    You butted heads with Larry Franco, in turn he told a lie about you or what you said. Ergo, here comes IA to Larry Franco’s rescue, once again. That being said; why can’t you just see that many of those who stood up to the Status Quo and refuse to walk away are doing the right thing?

    Some of this dialog may come across as harsh, but dam man, this thing is slowly but surely coming to a head in leading to a full Federal Grand Jury Investigation, and if you don’t realize it, you will be doing time with the likes of Larry Franco.

    I don’t think you’re in that category, not yet anyway, but you’re leaning towards those who rationalized what Larry Franco had gotten away with for many years, whether you realize it or not.


  • WES

    I’ve known Joe Williams for 25 plus years, which goes back to Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, N.M., and he was corrupt then also. I have worked in law enforcement and corrections and now retired, so I have knowledge of his lies and illegal behavior. He was John Shanks’ “kiss a_ _” for years. When Williams bought his way into the position of Secretary in a corrupt government run by Richardson. Big oil money from Hobbs helped Williams get the appointment. He said “this is the best job I’ve ever had, no body above me knows anything about corrections, so I can do anything I want.” And he did , follow trhe money, from the bidding process for the Clayton facility given to GEO, the opening of the female facility in Albuquerque, run by CCA, accepting gifts from the city of Clayton while at a corrections meeting there, having a sole source conract given to a friend in Santa Fe where Williams did his gym work,having all prisons buy all health food supplies there, the purchase of workout equipment by using capital outlay money,the use of State money to fly to see his lover in Illinois by landing in Missouri and renting a car and driving there using state funds, using state issued cell phone for personal use, staying in a hotel with a guest using state funds. When these issues were exposed he paid back some of the money and was suspended by the King of goverment, Richardson. If you rob a bank and get caught do you get to give the money back and never charged with a crime? The previous AG and the current AG should investigate this scam artist. The only way this department can move forward is to bring in an outsider with no ties to the good ole boys. There are many good workers and supervisors who need some positive direction.

  • Lydia

    Why would any department condone a such turnover rate ? Probation parole is a transient dept that does not encourage employees to consider it as a career.

    Allen, AKA Rob, Stacy, Steven and now Chris, you want good people to quit so no one will be left that knows your history. Most good people have gone, largely because of trash like you propped up by a corrupt bunch of losers.

    Your posts read like you’re Superman, saving the world single handed. Your only interest is saving yourself and making sure you get all you think you deserve. With the turnover rate it seems you’re getting what you want.

    You are not a man. Hiding behind names and calling yourself a victim. You are a predator. You’re no victim of her, she’s your victim and I feel sorry for her having to deal with you. You are not fit for duty or to be carrying a gun. That department needs to look closely at who and what you are before you start shooting at something besides dogs.

    By the way, my name is Lydia. I’m not hiding like the coward that is Allen Dominguez.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    Hey watchdog find out why probation parole su pervisor psr unit was at walmart in rio rancho last night at 200 in the morning in his state vehicle?

  • A rose is a rose

    Apparently the state car situation means nothing to ppd. Rose was seen at fitness club around 2 today in state car…. You go girl. Get fit! Parking in the back is soooooooooo smart…

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    Hey maybe rose bobcheck and bill tenant could carpool in their state cars to divine fitness?

  • http://nmwhyshouldwecare@wordpress.com Gail Oliver, Former Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Prison Reentry

    I want to offer my perspective and although my focus has always been on the rehabilitation side, instead of security, the efforts of rehabilitation have a profound impact on the everyday functioning of every prison.

    In my opinion, the rehabilitation efforts that were in place under Secretary Perry, Deputy Secretary Wilpolt and Shanks, were systemically marginalized or minimized. Based on the foundation set by the Perry administration, rehabilitation should have moved forward and lead the nation with the amazing efforts we were providing.

    I am hopeful that the new team can bring a new light to this department.

    Yes, I was a part of both administrations and I must say, that the years working in the Perry, Shanks, Wilpolt, administration were the highlight of my career and I felt the potential to really provide excellent services for the citizens of New Mexico.

    New Mexico had many opportunities to lead the nation in rehabilitation programming, but it was never allowed to pursue these initiatives.

  • http://nmwatchdog Carlos

    This article shows the real truth about New Mexico Probation Parole. The whole PPD management team is a bunch of cons. I think Suzanna Martinez needs to look real close into these allegations. I do have one question for Ms. Suzanna Martinez, why did you take the former Deputy Director Of Probation Parole ( David Jablonki) to work with your administration? I realize your both from Las Cruces and he paid you a hefty bribe towards your winning the Gov seat for NM. I also realize you 2 are personal friends.. but their maybe a few things you didn’t know about him that your should. While David was playing Deputy Director seat he was also playing like he was ex President Clinton in his oval office.. Ms. Monica Lurinski would be proud. The only problem was he was playing with human resources Tanya Rodriguez, and smoking alot of cuban cigarettes. My advice Suzanne Martinez fire the guy soon!!

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    To gail people actually liked and respected you

    Nobody is slammimg perry

    The corrections dept went sour when they appointed joe williams and charlene knipfing. It also wen amuck when employees were beaten severely by orders given by knipfings henchman. I personally know one lady who was beayen so nad by dt instructors

    This lady passed dt in 2007 and i was there

    The dept paid greatly yesterday when she was awarded a very nice settlement by nm workers comp. But on all truth gail what’s it really worth? The corrections dept is still run by corrupt apppinted people and the dept is evenially gping tp run put of taxpayers money by paying off all the lawsuits.

  • WES

    Gail Oliver is right on point with her comments inregards to the Perry administration vs the skirt chaser Williams. The Dept of Corrections/Parole and Probation was addressing real issues and not the bogus “swat team’ Williams charge. It is probably to late after 8 years of backward policy an procedure of his lack of leadership to move forward now. I saw both of these administrations at work and what a shame to have the ego manic Williams in charge.

  • http://nmwatchdog cole

    To wes good response to gail

    Lets just hope the new administration will change thimgs for the better.