Complaint: Eden Perjured–Updated

Complaint: Eden Perjured–Updated

The complaint also alleges that Eden lied to the news media when he said he didn’t know if Dear had activated his lapel camera before the encounter with Hawkes.

Chief lied twice, fired ex-cop’s lawyer says

Complaint filed with APD’s civilian oversight agency

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

dennis@freeabq.com

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The attorney for former Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear has formally accused APD Chief Gorden Eden of lying on two occasions in his official capacity as chief.

The attorney, Tom Grover, made the accusations on Jan. 11 in a complaint against Eden filed on Dear’s behalf with Albuquerque’s Civilian Police Oversight Agency.

Portion of APD Jeremy Dear Internal Affairs ComplaintThe complaint alleges that Eden did not tell the truth when he testified in a deposition last June that he didn’t recall reviewing an APD internal affairs case against Dear involving the April 21, 2014 fatal shooting by Dear of 19-year-old Mary Hawkes.

The complaint also alleges that Eden lied to the news media when he said he didn’t know if Dear had activated his lapel camera before the encounter with Hawkes.

“It is abundantly clear that Chief Eden, while functioning as the highest ranking officer of the Albuquerque Police Department, knowingly deceived and misrepresented information to the press and public during a press conference concerning the Hawkes shooting, and thereafter provided untruthful testimony during a sworn district court deposition,” the complaint said.

“As Chief Eden has stated in public, an officer that lies is incompatible with the holding of the office of a police officer,” the complaint continued. “Mr. Dear would like the Civilian Police Oversight Agency to investigate Chief Eden for violations of numerous APD standard operating procedures which govern truthfulness, complying with state laws, and bringing the department into disrepute.”

APD’s Comment

In a written statement, APD spokesperson Celina Espinoza said it was inaccurate for Grover to accuse Eden of lying.  “Chief Eden has the utmost integrity and respect for his position as Chief of Police. It is inaccurate to accuse Chief Eden of lying in his deposition as he was testifying based upon his recollection,” Espinoza said.

This newspaper first broke the story on Dec. 29, 2016, of Grover’s allegations that Eden had lied during the June 10, 2016 deposition in the Hawkes shooting case. During the deposition, Eden was questioned by attorney Shannon Kennedy, who represents the Hawkes family in a wrongful death lawsuit against APD.

Eden testified that he first learned of the IA investigation against Dear, which is known as I-99-14, when then-Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy told him the investigation had been suspended.

“When was the Internal Affairs investigation into the Mary Hawkes shooting initiated?” Kennedy asked Eden during the deposition.

“I don’t know,” Eden answered.

“You don’t know?” Kennedy asked.

“No,” Eden responded.

But that IA report, which Grover obtained through an Inspection of Public Record Act request, showed that on May 9, 2014, Eden signed a letter that was hand-delivered to Dear and which told the officer that an IA investigation had been initiated against him. That IA investigation was labeled I-99-14.

And a document obtained by Grover showed that Eden had earlier reviewed I-99-14. On July 22, 2014, Eden wrote a memo in the case that said:

“After careful review of this case, which included viewing of on-body camera recordings, statements and listening to the recordings I concurred with the findings and recommendations of Major [Timothy] Gonterman. However, on July 22, 2014, I received additional information on a prior performance requirement that was imposed on Officer Jeremy Dear that may be relevant to this event and the allegations.”

Lie to New Media Alleged

The CPOA complaint also alleged that Eden lied when, shortly after the Hawkes shooting, he told the news media that he didn’t know if Dear had turned on his lapel camera prior to confronting Hawkes. When asked by a reporter whether Dear had started his lapel cam, Eden replied:

“As I stated earlier, we have – we were not able to recover any video from Officer Dear’s on-body camera system … That is information we don’t know.”

But during a June 17, 2015, personnel board hearing in which Dear was appealing his termination from APD, Eden testified that Dear had told him shortly after the shooting that his lapel cam had become unplugged.

“At the scene of the shooting, did Officer Dear inform you about issues with his Taser camera?” Grover asked Eden during the personnel board hearing. Eden responded:

“Yes.”

“Do you remember what he told you?” Grover asked.

“Not specifically,” Eden replied. “I remember I asked him how he was. And his response was something to the effect of either the cord came unplugged or there was a camera problem or he didn’t record.”

Dear was fired in late 2014 for allegedly violating a 2013 order that he record all of his contacts with members of the public. He has appealed that firing.

Under state law, being untruthful, or lying, is one of the reasons that a police officer’s certification can be revoked.

 

This story has been updated to include comments from APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza.

Dennis Domrzalski is an associate editor at ABQ Free Press.

 

 

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  • Anonymous
    January 14, 2017, 5:52 am

    Perjury is a criminal offence under both State and Federal law.

    Under the City/DoJ Settlement Agreement, any complaint filed with the Civilian Police Oversight Agency that involves the possibility of criminal activity must be turned over to APD Internal Affairs for investigation.

    There can be no doubt, that the CPOA’s Director and Attorney are conferring with other Law Enforcement agencies, due to a conflict of interest that would arise by having the APD IA office, that is ultimately under the control of Chief Eden, investigate a complaint filed against him.

    Simply put, the CPOA does not have jurisdiction to investigate this complaint and if the CPOA wishes to maintain credibility it isn’t going relinquish it to APD IA for investigation.

    REPLY
  • Cynic
    February 12, 2017, 7:31 am

    So the murderer is complaining about someone maybe lying? What cheek!

    REPLY

The following two tabs change content below.
Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.