County whistleblower doesn’t regret standing ‘up for what is right’

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Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 5:43 pm, Sun Jun 29, 2014.

Eddie Garcia had only worked for Santa Fe County a few months when he noticed something wrong. A vendor who had held the exclusive contract for the county’s heating and cooling jobs seemed to be doing shoddy work. It wasn’t getting the proper permits from the state. And it appeared to be double billing for some of its jobs.

When he reported his concerns to managers, they did nothing, he says. Some even got angry. Finally, at the urging of a state official, he went to the press. This time, the reaction from the county was swift.

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  • Peter Neal posted at 11:12 pm on Fri, Jul 4, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    Ok, Ms Haywood, I'm gonna man up and concede that it may have been a "consent to search" instead of a "search warrant". A legal search nontheless. As any attorney will tell you, one of the first things aspiring defense attorneys learn in law school is that in the case of a consented search, "ya gotta tell 'em you were coerced".
    I stand by my assertion that your story was slanted in favor of the "victim". Why no mention of the marked police cars and uniformed officers outside Garcia's house? Why did she not just call 911 to verify if they were real cops and not "strangers"?
    Why no mention of the fact that the lead detective made numerous attempts to meet with Garcia to get his side of the story? Garcia cancelled or was a no-show several times. If he really wanted to "stand up for what was right" , and was innocent as he claimed, he could have done just that if he had met with the detective- heck, he could even have brought his attorney with him.

  • Peter Neal posted at 12:02 am on Fri, Jul 4, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    Do you have a copy of the complete police report? That may shed some light on some of the errors.

  • Phaedra Haywood posted at 2:17 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    Phaedra Haywood Posts: 3

    Mr. Neal,
    Because some of the initial reporting on this was done 5 years ago I went back to SFPD and the First Judicial District Court to double check the search warrant issue.
    Neither agency had any record of a search warrant, and records produced by SFPD in response to my queries indicate that the search was performed based on the authorization of Mrs. Garcia, as it says in the story.
    I'd like to encourage you to please contact me directly at phaywood@sfnewmexican.com with more information on the other alleged inaccuracies you've alluded to in your comments. We do correct all factual errors.
    Phaedra Haywood

  • Peter Neal posted at 8:41 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    And juries are always right, right? Riiiiiiight.

  • Peter Neal posted at 2:54 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    it was a search warrant signed by a judge based on statements given to police by county employee supervising Mr Garcia

  • Mark Ordonez posted at 1:25 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 659

    Best wishes to you and your family moving forward Eddie.
    Very happy to hear you are still drumming. I remember you from back in the De Vargas Jr. High days. Also, what bands did you play in back in the 80's?

  • Combat Kitty posted at 7:54 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Guest70 Posts: 3

    A warrant for what? Evidently he was authorized to have the computers in his home as the jury determined by their not guilty verdict.

  • Combat Kitty posted at 7:51 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Guest70 Posts: 3

    Johnny Ringo, you are an idiot. Keeping his mouth shut would only enable and encourage more corruption. I hope you aren't working for government where tax payer dollars are wasted due to you keeping your mouth shut. People like you are part of the problem. Congratulations to Mr. Garcia for standing up and doing the right thing.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 5:57 pm on Mon, Jun 30, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 427

    He obviously has integrity, which so many gov't. employees lack.

  • Dr. Michael Johnson posted at 8:17 am on Mon, Jun 30, 2014.

    Mike Johnson PhD Posts: 32

    This kind of corruption and cronyism is just typical NM government. No wonder the county can't even fix a road properly without involving all their incompetent and corrupt friends and messing up even simple jobs. NM will never improve with these kind of people.

  • Alfred Padilla posted at 8:09 am on Mon, Jun 30, 2014.

    Xenoace32 Posts: 341

    There are two types of Government employees bullies and those that work in fear under them. Then there is me testing assumptions and pushing buttons and making supervisors cry. Can you dig it! I knew you could………………..Lol

  • Eddie Garcia posted at 7:32 am on Mon, Jun 30, 2014.

    Eddie Garcia Posts: 2

    Many thanks to Rod Thompson and Kate Ferlic for everything.

  • Eddie Garcia posted at 7:29 am on Mon, Jun 30, 2014.

    Eddie Garcia Posts: 2

    We just want everyone to know that none of this was easy. I loved my job with Santa Fe County but I love my family more. When this all began to unravel for me during my employment.. there were many factors involved to include justifications to more than just Santa Fe County. When certain things didn't add up I had to do what was right. The extreme measures taken will continually have me and my wife asking WHY? The Police department only went off the information provided to them at the time.( In my wife's defense she is not a lair and she is a one in a million woman. PERIOD.Plus the Jury Trial settled that issue real quick). What I will say is this. If certain issues could just be nipped at the core, with accountability and honesty....not the blame game..maybe..just maybe issues like this wouldn't have to go this far.

  • Johnny Ringo posted at 11:00 pm on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    johnny ringo Posts: 1

    Should have keep mouth closed and he would still have his job house ETC.

  • Peter Neal posted at 10:42 pm on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    I said enough. Evidently it was too much trouble for Haywood to do some real investigative research and do a balanced story. Suffice to say, there were several inaccuracies and omissions. Of course, judging by the posts here, the story was gobbled up eagerly by the usual crowd. Mission accomplished.

  • Sabine Strohem posted at 9:48 pm on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    Sabine_Strohem Posts: 119

    Peter: tell us the real story.

  • Joe Montoya posted at 10:56 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    Joe_Montoya Posts: 78

    In state, County and Municipal government, it is not always what you know that can get you places, but rather who you know that can and will get you up the ladder faster and quicker. Garcia deserves kudos for doing the right thing, in-spite of all the mental anguish and torture he went through. The million dollar question is whether Santa Fe County learned their lesson for their un-called for behavior and actions in which Garcia went through hell through his efforts in reporting illegal and irresponsible behavior on the part of some Santa Fe higher-ups.

  • Peter Neal posted at 10:13 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    PeterNeal Posts: 291

    We're you there, Fred? So many omissions and outright falsehoods in this article. There WAS a warrant. PERIOD.When the "plainclothes detectives" were knocking on the door, there were APD officers in uniform with them, and APD marked police cars parked in the street right outside the house. They repeatedly announced (loudly) that they were police officers.For Amy Garcia to say that "strangers" were outside her front door is only true to the extent that she did not personally know them- that they were police on official business was obvious. Way to go, New Mexican. Another slanted, poorly researched article.

  • Fred Stokes posted at 9:24 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    fredstokes Posts: 94

    I remember the police raid -- a flagrant violation of the family's civil rights.

  • Fred Stokes posted at 9:23 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    fredstokes Posts: 94

    Ross left. I hope it was because of this and all the crooked stuff he did. Green is still there and also a crook - a nasty-tempered crook. Why is she still holding her position?

  • Sabine Strohem posted at 9:06 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    Sabine_Strohem Posts: 119

    This is illustrative of everything that's wrong in NM government.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 8:28 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 427

    "Culture of corruption", is right. "Culture", being the key word here and a very strong word it is in this town, county and state.

  • john rawlings posted at 8:26 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    johnrawlings Posts: 6

    this is one person who had the courage to speak out and was retaliated against severely for it.

    this happens at the city on a regular basis but no one is willing to go through what this man has, so it continues.

    the city then has the gall to ask for a property tax increase!

  • Tomas Moore posted at 6:06 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    TomasMas Posts: 28

    Why was no one at the county held accountable? Why wasn't the company held accountable for no permits and shoddy work? This cost the county considerable amount of money yet no real consequences for those involved! The DA and Santa Fe Police were all about going after the innocent man but not the real guilty parties. The whole thing smacks of corruption. The man should have received a much bigger payout too.

  • Pat Shackleford posted at 12:37 am on Sun, Jun 29, 2014.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 570

    He didn't get enough money for all the trouble the county heaped upon him. The District Attorney's office (Spence Pacheco?) should be charged with malicious prosecution (by the Feds), for overcharging him with "grand larceny" when the computers were technically junk. Sounds like a criminal conspiracy by county officials to destroy someone who exposed their culture of corruption and routine malfeasance.

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 10:36 pm on Sat, Jun 28, 2014.

    CarolynDM Posts: 427

    This guy's livelihood was ruined because of the ever present government corruption at taxpayer's expense. The higher ups in this article should be fired. They have no class, no morals and certainly no integrity. But, they're gettin' big fat retirement package when they retire. It's sickening. The Patron System needs to go, right along with the Friends and Family Plan that is so common in State, City and County government in NM.


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