Albuquerque, NM (KKOB) — In a letter dated today, Albuquerque District One City Councilor Louie Sanchez sent Attorney General Raul Torrez a request for two investigations.
See the correspondence below:
March 15, 2023
Honorable Raúl Torrez
State of New Mexico
201 3rd St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Dear Attorney General Torrez,
I am writing to you today as the Albuquerque District 1 City Councilor and a concerned 26-
year-veteran of law enforcement regarding what I believe to be potential criminal conduct by
the Keller Administration within the City of Albuquerque government. I am requesting that
your office open an investigation into the recent matter of the Keller Administration’s
spending $236,000 of Albuquerque tax dollars for artificial turf which appears to have been
given to a campaign donors’ football team located in Rio Rancho. Upon the March 10, 2023
release of the City of Albuquerque Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report, we now have
additional information. As the OIG report states, the State of New Mexico Department of
Finance and Administration (DFA) determined the Keller Administration’s attempt to access
the funds for a private business, located in a different municipality, was in violation of the
Anti-Donation Clause. DFA rejected Mayor Keller’s attempt and stated his administration
broke the law. Yet the Keller Administration still bought the turf for the private company in a
different city with Albuquerque tax dollars.
Additionally, I respectfully request that your office investigate the handling of the taxpayer
funded book City at a Crossroads that includes nearly 50 pictures of Mayor Keller and his
family to be reviewed as well. I do not think spending nearly a hundred thousand dollars of
taxpayer money to pay a journalist and publish a book, which appears to be a marketing device
regarding the Mayor’s response to COVID, is appropriate or legal. In addition, if one searches
for the “book” online, it is being sold at multiple retailers for profit. As a City Councilor, I am left with the question of where are the profits of the book going? It is my understanding sales
of the book are being handled by The One Albuquerque Fund which some accuse functions as
a Political Action Committee (PAC) for Mayor Keller. Additionally, the Mayor and his
appointees aggressively seek contributions from private industry to this fund and now it
appears that private sales of the publicly funded book are being funneled to the alleged PAC.
We are one of the poorest and most deadly states and cities in the country, our focus should be
on public safety, healthcare, social services, and education. Albuquerque & the State of New
Mexico’s focus most certainly shouldn’t be on doling out taxpayer money to Mayor Keller’s
political campaign donors or his never-ending marketing campaigns to promote himself.
I thank you for your consideration and stand ready to assist your office should you have any
questions concerning these important taxpayer issues.
Louie E.J. Sanchez
Albuquerque City Council