November 6, 2015

Audit finds problems with contracts to APD psychologist

Andy Lyman

Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department

The city made “double payments” to an Albuquerque Police Department contractor who wore too many hats, according to an internal report released last week.

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

Andy Lyman

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

Dr. Troy Rodgers’ “multiple conflicting roles” as both a contractor and city official led to “an overall breakdown in administrative oversight and controls,” the report from Albuquerque’s Office of Internal Audit reads. On top of contracting with the city, the psychologist served as acting director of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Behavioral Science Division.

Altogether, the city contracted $500,000 with Rodgers and two companies he’s affiliated with— Public Safety Psychology Group and Forensic Behavioral Health Associates—since 2014. Three of those contracts totaling more than $215,000 are still in place.

City Councilor Diane Gibson, who requested the review, said that report speaks for itself.

“It’s really up to the administration to figure out how to fix those weaknesses,” Gibson said. “I am a city councilor, I cannot direct any other city department to do anything. All I can do is legislate.”

Rodgers didn’t return phone calls or emails left Thursday afternoon seeking comment on the auditor’s report. City spokeswoman Rhiannon Schroeder asked for questions via email Thursday afternoon, which were not been returned by press time.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Rodgers is affiliated with two companies that were vendors for the city but also served as acting director of APD’s Behavioral Sciences Division. The report criticizes this as “a complex, connective network with multiple conflicting elements.
  • Rodgers submitted invoices for his services to the city as a vendor, and then as BSD director approved those invoices. Rodgers didn’t have signature authority.
  • Rodgers billed the city but didn’t provide details for hours worked. He simply billed the city 1/12 of his contracts each month.
  • Between contracts with APD and the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Office, Rodgers’ work week totals at least 52 hours.
  • Rogers used APD officers to teach Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) classes for his companies. He had the officers bill both the city and his company for their time. Since the city paid for his company’s contract, the audit found “the City has paid twice for portions of CIT training.”
  • APD officers raised concerns about Rodgers’s “ability to control or retaliate against them through fitness of duty, return to work or other evaluations.”
  • Rodgers filled out incorrect tax info on his W2 forms for the city, which “may be an indication that neither Dr. Rodgers nor the City were able to keep the various contracts separate.”
  • The city paid nearly $9,000 for Rodgers’ travels that weren’t covered in his contracts, including trips to conferences in Las Vegas, Monterey and Orlando. “It is unclear in what capacity Dr. Rodgers attended the conferences,” according to the report.

Auditors also disagreed with APD over whether officers are still working for Rodgers’s companies. The report states that APD’s assistant chief said officers stopped teaching CIT training hours in July, but that, according to APD employees, “officers were contacted and instructed on at least one occasion after July 7.”

“These particular employees do not receive compensation from [Public Safety Psychology Group] for their participation in the trainings,” the report reads.

The report recommends that the city review all existing contracts with Rodgers and his companies and cancel those that are “no longer necessary.” It also urges the city to hire a permanent director of APD’s Behavioral Science Division.

Gibson added that she recently participated in “substantive meetings” that “encouraged the mayor to take action.”

Read the auditor’s full report below:

Results of Non-Audit Service 15-309 10272015 cb.pdf by New Mexico Political Report