& What is it with this place?
I thought most of the crime-amongst-the-leaders down here in Amerexico was mostly confined to corruption for cash…for example:
- The former president of the New Mexico state senate cools his heels in a federal prison for pocketing more than a half million bucks as his piece of $4.2 million his gang netted by inflating and falsifying invoices relating to construction of a courthouse. At least I think he’s still in jail — but a lot of these guys get weekends and holidays off…
- A trusted accountant for a tiny New Mexico school district (annual budget $3.8 million), without anybody noticing in a ten-year period, manages to embezzle $3.3 million and blow most of it gambling at nearby Indian casinos who, unlike bartenders who cut off the booze for drunks, just take every damn dollar you want to give them. She didn’t spend much time in jail — they let her out of custody for a weekend and she killed herself…
- The sheriff of Santa Fe County ‘fesses up that he was padding his pockets by selling county property — law enforcement stuff — on Ebay, and gets smacked with 252 felony charges. I don’t think he’s been to trial, or copped a plea, yet…
- Eleven people are rounded up in the little border town of Columbus, New Mexico on charges of drug and firearm smuggling, apparently bringing home at least some of the nation’s lucre that is being siphoned off to the gang-banging Mexican drug lords.. Three of those arrested — who now face 84 felony counts — are the Columbus mayor, an ineptly titled city “trustee,” and, and… the police chief…
It goes on. And on. And on.
Occasionally, you’ll run into a sex-story involving a person-of-trust. One of my favorite stories of that genre, which came in the midst of a trial of a local judge accused of giving wrist-slap sentences to female prisoners who gave him good sex, apparently right there in his office. The story that caught my attention was the one that started with something like:
The trial of Judge I.M. Horny (his name doesn’t matter) on charges that he traded light sentences for sex from female prisoners was postponed Tuesday after a police officer who was scheduled to testify was arrested on burglary charges in Albuquerque.
It’s tough running a justice system when your cops are sitting in somebody else’s clink. But that’s the way it is, down here just north of the Border.
And now we’ve got another sex story. You’ve probably heard that the cops in Albuquerque have been busting up an online bordello, arresting five so far on charges of promoting and procuring prostitution and prostitutes, including a 68-year-old physics professor from an East Coast university and … hold on now, just hold on… a 71-year-old Albuquerque professor, who just happens to have been an interim President… of… the… University… of… New… Mexico. Yes!
Now of course we’ve got to remember that David Flory, the Fairleigh-Dickenson U physics guy, and F. Chris Garcia, who was NMU interim president in 2002, are innocent unless they are proven to actually be professorial pimps, but the cops have apparently got some of the hookers, and some of the johns spilling the beans about a password-protected website called Southwest Companions. And there’s also the little tidbit about Garcia being the site’s moderator. Oops.
Anyway, as I peruse my memory of the behavior reported and alleged of our leaders in the judiciary, in law enforcement, in government and in education, I begin to understand why less than two-thirds of New Mexico’s youth actually earn a high school diploma — why nearly half the kids in this state don’t have much hope for the future, even before they get to the starting line.
It’s because these kids don’t have much to look up to; they don’t have heroes. The picture they get of a role model, over and over, is the picture of somebody in an orange jail jump suit and handcuffs.
& Wishing I could cuff somebody myself, I’m outta here.