Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do Secret Video Tapes Reveal Mayoral Retaliation?

Photo by: MG Bralley
As you've probably already heard before, former Albuquerque Police Officer John Bode, who currently owns and operates Bode Aviation and Bode Aero at Double Eagle Airport, is suing Mayor Martin Chávez and the City of Albuquerque, because a contract negotiated between him and the city was never signed and returned to him.

Bode has claimed City Hall has deliberately delayed signing his contract because he refused to offer the mayor free flights, both for the city and for the Chávez for U.S. Senate campaign, and because he raised concerns about safety at the airport and questioned federal grant money spending on a long-delayed airport tower. And because he refused to donate to some of Chávez' favorite charities, including the Boo Ball.

Now, one of Chávez' opponents, Richard Romero, has released video surveillance tapes made during the contract negotiations. Last month, Albuquerque Journal City Hall Reporter Dan McKay reported on the tapes.

Watch them and judge them for yourself here.

Bode Surveillance- Long Version from Richard M. Romero on Vimeo.

These compiled surveillance tapes are mentioned by Bode, during his deposition, by City Attorneys ahead of a federal trial. The videos were also released to 770KKOB after a request for inspection of public records.

The Journal's McKay reported:
The recordings show a series of meetings in 2007 and 2008 between the plaintiffs and city officials in a Bode conference room at Double Eagle. The room had surveillance cameras because it's part of an airport.

Bode has also said there's a sign notifying people of the surveillance and that the cameras' operation is routine. His attorney said the cameras are visible.

Bode's suit alleges the City of Albuquerque stalled and manipulated an extension of his fixed based operator's contract at Double Eagle II Airport.

Bode has said the tapes prove mayoral retaliation. Bode contends Chávez is solely responsible for stifling the contract process.

The mayor has said that he's reviewing all city contracts and will not offer any long-term, no bid contracts.

*The female voice on the tape has been wrongly identified as Cara McNitch(sic), the female voice is actually Christine Pica, a partner at Bode Aero Services.

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