Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
As most of you are aware Evelyn's son Ronnie died in jail on Sunday September 21, 2008. Her youngest son Robbie Romero, age 7, disappeared from the family's Bellamah Drive neighborhood in June 2000. Ronnie was always described as a "person of interest" in the disappearance in the City Police case.
Ronnie's autopsy was held on Monday September 22 and during the autopsy a balloon with suspected heroin was located in his rectum (is there a better way to describe this?). This brought about many questions as to how it gets there, why jail officials cannot stop this, along with many other questions.
The sheriff's office, the jail, the county government and others get sued by family members of both those who overdose in jail and those who die in jail in drug related deaths. The same firm (Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dahlstrom, Schoenburg & Bienvenu LLP) has had the gall to sue the county for failing to do enough to stop drugs coming into the jail and in the same breath and a different case, file a separate lawsuit for doing too much to stop drugs from coming into the jail. In the end the only one who wins in these lawsuits is the attorneys who have gotten filthy rich over these lawsuits. These attorneys file wide sweeping lawsuits suing anyone and everyone knowing that its cheaper to settle than litigate many of these cases. The earlier mentioned firm even knows full well that the Sheriff's Office is not allowed by the county to have anything to do running the jail yet they still name the Sheriff in all lawsuits having to do with the jail. Typical slash and burn tactics to ensure they can rake in as much money from as many people as possible.
These lawsuits have medical personnel, jail personnel and others scared to do anything. Inmates know that jail officials and others cannot perform any type of invasive body cavity searches so they swallow drugs in balloons in order to excrete them later or vomit the drugs back out later. They also simply insert the balloons into the rectum in order to remove them later. I am really going to gross you out now but I have seen where an inmate was suspected of bring drugs into the jail. The inmate was placed into what is called a dry cell, one without a toilet. The inmate admitted to excreting the drugs on the floor, digging them out of the excrement, and swallowing them again so they would not be found by jail personnel. Cigarettes and tobacco are brought in in the same manner.
Even when police and sheriff's get a court ordered search warrant allowing for a body cavity search, medical personnel refuse to do so stating they will not jeopardize their malpractice insurance costs by doing so. The doctors and hospitals would rather say no to a judge than face the lawsuits by the newest form of ambulance chasers. Of course jail personnel cannot do invasive searches. Hospitals have even refused to do a simple x-ray to determine if drugs were in the body. Do I seem harsh with my words? I have actually had detectives arrive at the jail to investigate a case and have private investigators and representatives of civil attorneys waiting at the front door trying to see the inmates before our investigators even begin the case.
I know there will be a lawsuit in the Romero case, I would not doubt if the above mentioned law firm did not send their business card with flowers to the funeral home. Everyone wants to blame someone when a loved one dies. When someone smuggles drugs into a jail, distributes them to inmates, and then someone dies from those drugs who is to blame? Lawsuits are usually based on proving that a person, company, or government was negligent in its duties to prevent or stop an incident. The same lawyers who sue for these cases are the same ones who tie jails hands and create ways for inmates to bring in drugs, cigarettes, and other contraband.
Which reminds me, would you quit smoking or smoke a cigarette that came from the rear end of your cell mate! I don't smoke but I think it would be enough to make me quit. I guess I have ended up using this post to rant but when I see these attorneys deposit another half a million or more taxpayer dollars in their bank account it sticks in my craw. Want an example?
In the Santa Fe Strip Search lawsuit the inmates got an average of $2,500 the attorneys, (same ones I mentioned above) got 2 million dollars. Think about that, the Firm Donatelli and Rothstien collected two million dollars for 6 months work in the Strip Search lawsuit. Even if they worked all day every day 40 hours a week this comes out to a ridicules hourly wage. I have said it before, if these attorneys at least used some of the money to help inmates receive things like drug rehabilitation or job training then I could give them some credit. Imagine what counties could do with money given to these firms or our insurance carriers which charge high premiums due to these attorneys.
We lack adequate mental health inpatient treatment facilities, inpatient drug rehabilitation facilities and even enough outpatient treatment for inmates and those who need help before they become inmates. All this money could go to these and other worthy programs. I am one who believes we need tort and other reforms which will reign in these class action and other lawsuits. How many times do citizens get a coupon worth $20 or less in these class action lawsuits while the attorneys get millions. How is this fair? Sometimes I feel like sticking my head out a window and yelling "enough is enough!"
Friday, September 19, 2008
Some of my readers may recall that I visited the movie set when Toby was filming his new movie "Beer for My Horses" in Santa Fe. Last night at the concert they were filming another movie "Crazy Heart", starring Jeff Bridges, Colin Farrell, and Robert Duvall. Those in attendance were treated to be a part of the film as they filmed concert footage for the film. The film is about a down-on-his-luck alcoholic country music singer who, through his relationship and experiences with a female reporter, is able to get his life and career back on track. During the filming at the Toby Keith Concert Colin Farrell and Jeff Bridges got on stage and sang to the audience while scenes were shot. I must say they were not half bad as country singers. I was allowed to bring in a small digital camera and I took pictures and some small videos of the filming.
Below is some pics and video of the concert and filming. Also in the pics is the backup band Montgomery Gentry . I took over 90 pictures and the full album is available here.
Video of Colin Farrell and Jeff Bridges Singing during filming of Crazy Heart. Double Click on video and choose high quality to see a better version.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Who would have guessed that right across the street is the Espanola Republican Headquarters!
Ben Ray Lujan worked the crowd and spoke to this lady who lived accross the street from the rally.
Governor Richardson Introduces Barak Obama.
My favorite line of Obama's was " McCain said the economy is fundamentally sound, he was fundamentally wrong!"
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"This site is a work of satire and is not affiliated with Sarah Palin in any way."
This is an interesting way of attacking a candidate and while I am sure it would be legal and classified as free speech it takes politics and political attacks to a new low. Not that the McCain and Palin campaign have not personally taken their campaign to a new low. McCain has even admitted lying in his ads. Remember the day when even if candidates lied they would never admit it? Now lying is tolerated or at least ignored by the public even when a candidate admits they are lying and continue to do so.
I have always felt honored to be in public service and I can only hope that local and state politics do not reach the level that presidential politics have reached. However, the Pierce campaign ads seem to be just below the level of McCains and I have seen other attack ads at the state level as well. Why, oh, why do negative ads work? When will the public teach candidates lessons by saying enough is enough. I hope soon, I know I have had enough. Maybe ads which tell who you are and what you will do are not as exciting but it is what I want to see. I want to know who is the candidate and what are their values and do they understand what American life is really about. Remember George H.W. Bush in 1992, when he was so amazed at the bar code reader in a grocery store? Do our candidates know what it is like to pay their utility bills, buy car insurance, house payments, car payments, buy gasoline, keep their kids in clothes for school and still buy food? Or do they have no idea even how many houses they own?
I know how many houses I own, NONE. Country Wide Mortgage owns my house and each month I pay them for the privilege of letting them do so. At least until the day comes when I might pay them off and then maybe it will be mine. Don't get me wrong, its the American Dream and many other citizens of many other countries wish they had the opportunity I do. But, if you do not know what it is like to try and pay for medical insurance or try and go with out it and gamble on the chance you won't need it for the next year how can you understand why we must fix the health care system in America.
These are the issues we should be talking about, not pigs with lipstick, or lies about teaching kindergarten children sex education. (does anyone even believe for a second that any politician would vote for that!) I would admonish candidates even more but the truth is this will continue and continue to get worse until the public says enough is enough.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
3251 Children lost a parent on that day. I want to show you a video tribute to the children of those who died. I last posted this video in 2006, it brought tears to my eyes then and it still does today. This originally was an animated video posted on the Internet. Someone changed the scenes to photos however they kept the original soundtrack. It brought tears to my eyes and I bet it will to yours also.
This video reminds me of the pain when my family lost my mother 23 years ago. I can imagine this same pain multiplied by 3251. September 11 has become everything from a day of national mourning to a rally cry for security and finally a political football to be thrown when ever a politician hopes a Hail Mary pass can be completed. On this actual day all uses of this memory should be set aside and we should do nothing more than honor the victims and remember the sacrifice of 333 Firefighters, 60 Law Enforcement Officers, and 125 members of our Armed Forces who died that day.
I always mention one retired law enforcement officer and victim who died that day, He was the one New Mexican who lost his life in the attacks.
Alfred Gilles Padre Joseph Marchand- The only New Mexican to die in the September 11, Attacks. He was a retired Alamogordo Police Officer who wanted to be a pilot someday. He was working as a flight attendant on United Flight 175 which was crashed into the World Trade Center South Tower.
Below is a link where you can view all the victims names.
Names of those Killed in the September 11 Attacks.
To all the victims, their families, friends and loved ones. We remember, we honor, we ask for gods blessings for each of you.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I was reading the Winners and Losers section for this week when low and behold, There I was. After reading the part pertaining to me, this blog and some honorary deputies I had to glance back up the page to see whether I was in the winners or losers column. Whew! I was in the winners column. Although when you read the section.................
OK, in all seriousness I look at these types of things as no different then when the mayor or governor issues a proclamation doing things like...."making it Santa Fe Reporter Day" when celebrating an anniversary? Also a small correction, I actually did not know until I saw the movie months later that they were playing deputies in the movie. Other wise things like the honorary deputy, or giving a celebrity or sports star the key to the city is just a fun way of building community pride and promoting our community or state. A lot of what a political figure does is to promote the community, attend meetings, set policy, and be a sounding board for the community as well as be a voice for the citizens. Some of this involves pomp and circumstance while most of it involves rolling up your sleeves and getting things done.Country singers
Perhaps it was a bit of a political risk for Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano to issue the oath of office to three country-rock musicians (Tobey Keith, Rodney Carrington and Ted Nugent) to lend more credibility to their roles as sheriff’s deputies in the film Beer for My Horses. After all, the quickest way to SFR’s “Losers” column is the use of public office to promote ridiculousness. On his blog (sheriffgregsolano.blogspot.com) Solano defends his decision after seeing the local preview screening of the film, which made him LOL several times over.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I still have over half my second term left and god willing I will still be Sheriff until January 1, 2011. While I am purposely not mentioning the names of those who were in the fiesta parade seeking to get name recognition and try to be my replacement, I am going to come out really early and tell you who I am endorsing. Current Undersheriff Robert Garcia is running for Sheriff in the 2010 June Primary and I will not only be endorsing him, I will whole heartily give him any support I can. Robert is a former Union President, former Santa Fe City Police Sergeant, Former member of the armed forces, and was my mentor in both union and police disciplines throughout my early police years. He also saved my butt if not my life during several bouts with criminals.
Robert has been an integral part of my administration and been responsible for many of our successes in the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. Even though I still intend to be around over two more years I have complete confidence that when the time comes Santa Fe County voters can do no better than to elect Robert Garcia as my replacement.
So now back to the parade, Here are a few pictures I took of the parade.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Interestingly enough, in the movie written by Toby Keith and Rodney Carrington the two play Deputies in Jackson County Oklahoma. I actually did not know that fact when I first went to the set and deputized the three. The two play best friends, Rack (Toby Keith) and Lonnie (Rodney Carrington), that work together as deputies in a small town along with an eccentric deputy named Skunk (Ted Nugent). The three defy the Sheriff and head off on an outrageous road trip to save Rack's girlfriend from drug lord kidnappers.
The movie definitely has a Country Movie Television feel to it and I was not sure I would like it. But, I did, the movie had just the right amount of comedic relief thrown in with Toby's characters more serious role. I have to say that Rodney stole the movie in several scenes and had me laughing out loud. For those who don't know me I don't do that too often. My wife says I am always too serious. However, Laugh out loud I did on several occasions.
The movie is only in limited release and it is my understanding that the one night screening in Santa Fe was the only chance to see it in Santa Fe prior to it being released on DVD. Too bad it was better than many movies I have paid to see in a theater and I think if it had a wider release and some advertising money it would do well. It won't win an Oscar but its fun entertainment. I can see this doing well on DVD and later on T.V. as well. Maybe one of the trivia questions on CMT TV when this is shown is the fact the three stars actually became honorary deputies while filming in Santa Fe. I give this movie thumbs up (hope I don't get sued for using that) and recommend you catch it where ever you find it.
By the way Toby and Rodney, here is a toast to your screenwriting abilities, Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.......
You can watch the movie trailer here.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Matthew at New Mexico FBI HOP is asking his readers to donate to charities which benefit Hurricane Gustov victims. I think it is a great idea and I will be making my donation to Red Cross and I urge you to do the same.