September 1, 2015

Cop accused of badmouthing APD through blog stripped of credential

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A former police officer, who was fired from the Albuquerque Police Department for allegedly making disparaging comments about her employer, was stripped of her law enforcement certification.

Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department Photo Credit: Andy Lyman

Dawne Roberto was fired from APD for allegedly writing articles for a blog critical of APD and top city officials. The department fired Roberto in 2013 after an investigation into whether or not she was writing for “Eye on Albuquerque.”

Roberto, who still maintains her innocence, went on to get a job with the Bosque Farms Police Department.

In August, the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy decided to revoke Roberto’s law enforcement certification. Roberto’s attorney John D’Amato told New Mexico Political Report the complaint came from APD.

Without the credentials, Roberto cannot serve as a law enforcement officer in the state. Bosque Farms Police Department can no longer employ her as an officer.

D’Amato said his client will appeal the decision and hopes that a judge will make a decision on whether Roberto can go back to work as a police officer.

“We want the district court to rule on whether she can keep her certification,” D’Amato said.

Bosque Farms Police Chief Greg Jones told KOAT-TV that he was disappointed to see Roberto leave.

Bosque Farms Police Chief Greg Jones said it was hard to see her leave the force.

“A lot of residents would use the term love. They loved Dawne Roberto,” said Jones.

Roberto turned in her badge and service weapon to Jones.

“It felt crummy. It felt basically like losing a friend or losing a family member,” he said.

Losing an officer has a tough impact on the Bosque Farms Police Department, which only has 14 certified positions.

Jones said it is hard to recruit officers because the pay is low compared to Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

D’Amato said he has spoken with an official from Bosque Farms and confirmed that if she regains her certification, Roberto would be eligible for work as an officer there.

An APD spokesman declined to comment on Roberto or her past with APD.

For now, Roberto remains unemployed according to D’Amato.

“I told her to go to law school,” D’Amato said. “She’s a smart lady.”