Manny Ortiz, the incumbent, and his tag-team partner, Patrick Padilla, have for years treated the Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office like their own personal crap game
Let’s Move on from Cronyism in the BernCo Treasurer’s Office
BY DAN VUKELICH
We feel the need to speak up on the Democratic primary race for Bernalillo County treasurer.
As Dennis Domrzalski spells out in an article elsewhere on this site (Treasurer: Deja Vu Again!), two men seeking election to the office are personally responsible for costing taxpayers millions of dollars through imprudent investments.
Manny Ortiz, the incumbent, and his tag-team partner, Patrick Padilla, have for years treated the Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office like their own personal crap game – making ill-advised trades, allegedly favoring friendly brokers and costing county taxpayers money.
Manny Ortiz and Patrick Padilla screwed things up so badly at the Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office that the county had to hire an investment adviser to do their jobs for them. The state auditor slammed their business practices and thinks laws were broken. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating.
Padilla survived a criminal corruption trial in the 1990s over his investment practices back then and, to the discredit of Albuquerque voters, they later re-elected him. Once he got back in office, state auditors found he used county employees to run personal errands for him. After two terms, when he couldn’t run again, Padilla stepped into the investment officer position and anointed Ortiz as his replacement.
When the county nearly didn’t make payroll and Ortiz’s and Padilla’s malfeasance finally surfaced, Ortiz sat in stony silence as the County Commission demanded answers. Now, he’s suing the County Commission, charging he is the victim of ethnic discrimination. Oh, and he wants the county to pay the legal bills he ran up fighting an unsuccessful citizen recall effort last year.
For the sake of your tax dollars, do not vote for either of these two men.
The other two Democrats in the race are Chistopher J. Sanchez, a Treasurer’s Office employee, and Nancy Bearce, a neighborhood activist who on her Facebook page lists past employment at “Kirkland Air Force Base.”
Sanchez has been endorsed by a host of heavy hitters in the Democratic Party, including former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish. We endorse Sanchez and pray that his election in November will slam the door on Ortiz and Padilla and their shenanigans for good.
Dan Vukelich is editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.