It was a done deal days ago and today the Santa Fe County Commissioners only had to give some semblance of listening to the public before taking a vote to remove the Sheriff from jail operations. The 5 page resolution filled with legalize will take a team of attorneys to go through and understand but it is summed up at the end with a few basic sentences that say the Sheriff will not do anything at the jail but investigate crimes and even then the document says the jail will decide whats a crime and what is not and then make the decision on whether to call the Sheriff's Office.
I will probably have an attorney review this and then decide where to go from there. I have received many calls of support and several jail employees have called thanking me for trying to fight for them. One lady was near tears as she said she was afraid to speak out about how bad things are for fear of losing her job. She vowed that once she found a new job she would speak out. I felt for her but the truth is the county is not at a place right now where they would listen.
I will continue to try and advocate for a safe and well run jail and hope that I can make a difference from the outside. The resolution passed today is so far reaching and encompassing that the county commissioners may have overstepped their bounds. Some say I should just stand aside and let the house of cards fall, that is an option. The truth is I do care and don't want to see failure even if the County Commission has absolved me from blame should failure occur.
In recent weeks one thing I wanted was to stop all the back door shenanigans and just get this out in the public. At least now everything is out, I have had my say and reported the problems I was seeing at the jail. The County Manager and Commission were still in denial today and maybe they will always see things differently than I do. I do want to thank Commissioner Mike Anaya for his courageous support. Being the lone voice against your peers can be difficult and it took a lot of guts. Chief Eric Johnson and Deputy Chief Benjie Montano both showed up to voice support and without my calling them or asking. I really appreciate their taking the initiative and the time. I am reading this blog post and it kind seems like I have given up, I have not and hopefully that is not the impression you get when you read it.
This quote has hung in my office for about three years now, it is one of my favorite quotes.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.