Should the elected official, whose hand was found in the till, be held any less accountable than the kid who steals a car? Both should be held accountable – more so the one who broke the public trust.

Why do we never hear what was decided on in executive sessions? Let me give an example. Over the last month or so we learned that both Erica Baker and Michael Lanford were discussed at one of these executive sessions. The City Commission knows what is going on (or should), our city attorney and even the County District attorney know... why don't we?

Last weeks front page – Hospital CEO Stokes on leave – no explanation. At the same time there are three major criminal investigations by and into the State Attorney General’s office.

House Majority Leader Stapleton had to step down from accusations of criminal misbehavior. Juan Fuentes, former city manager awarded the city manager of the year award, fired the next week – no explanation. Police Chief Aragon - fired no explanation. Elected to city commission – no explanation. Moral enough to be a city commissioner but not a police chief?

We are told that these closed-door hearings are for the protection of the accused but are often used to cover stuff up. Shouldn't the people be aware that their mayor has been found that she used her influence (nepotism) to get her son-in-law a job with the city police dept., pressuring the previous city manager and then rigging the payments to cover it up? The city attorney illegally signed off on it as being legal, and the DA's office declined to prosecute. There is much more to this story...

In the meantime, our mayor proudly sits as head of the city commission and rules over us. Shouldn't she step down until this is thoroughly investigated? Shouldn't other commission members speak up?

The Mayor of Las Vegas, NM who did the same thing, is looking at 3 to 5 years for a felony conviction... got 18 months probation and a fine!

Are the citizens going to allow this to be swept under the rug? Are we not entitled to a full explanation? Facts provided by the county sheriff are on the desk of the State Attorney General and we await their response... with Larry Barker and a grand jury waiting in the wings.

"Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom must... undergo the fatigue of supporting it." –Thomas Paine

s/Jack Noel

lastnoel@hotmail.com

T-or-C, NM

(Over 350 words paid)

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