June 19, 2015

City wants 12-person jury over whistleblower allegations

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Andy Lyman

Albuquerque City Hall

gavel on stack of documentsThe City of Albuquerque and other defendants in a whistleblower lawsuit filed a request for a twelve-person jury on Monday.

John Corvino, a former trainer for the Albuquerque Police Department, filed a suit against the city. This week City Attorney Jessica Hernandez filed a response to Corvino’s allegations and subsequent demand for a jury trial.

The city’s response contested claims that Corvino faced retaliation by his superiors for bringing to light possible police training deficiencies in the police academy.

The allegations date back to 2013 when Corvino, when he was a trainer for APD, notified his superiors that instructors were training officers without proper certifications. Corvino said he was then instructed to not communicate with personnel of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy about the potential training deficiencies.

The city denied Corvino’s allegations in the response.

In the response, Hernandez wrote that Corvino “was initially assigned to the Basic Training Unit but was transferred to the Advanced Training Unit after he was unable to perform all the physical requirements of a basic instructor.”

Attorney Thomas Grover originally filed a complaint on behalf of Corvino alleging that the trainer’s superiors treated him unfairly after he went to the Law Enforcement (LEA) Board with his concerns.

In her response, Hernandez wrote that Joseph Wolf, the academy’s former director, was told by the LEA there was no problems with training.

“Wolf was informed by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (“NMLEA”) director that there was no defect with the October 2013 classes or its graduates, and this information was conveyed to Plaintiff.”

Last month, Grover filed a request for a six person jury, and sent summons to the City of Albuquerque, APD, Police Chief Gorden Eden, Wolf and Lt. Michael Archibeque.

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