Louisiana Trip: 31 Hours of Billing Is All In a Day’s Pay
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to bill your employer for 31 hours of work in a day? Wouldn’t it be even better if your co-worker who did the same work you did could also do that too?
Wouldn’t it be even better if you didn’t have to document what you did in order to earn 8 hours of pay more than there are hours in the day?
The two NMSP officers from the governor’s security detail, Ruben Maynes and Frank Chavez, who drove with Chuck Franco, Susana Martinez’s husband, to Louisiana so he could go hunting did exactly that. They each charged the taxpayers 31 hours to drive with Chuck Franco on the first day of his trip. 62 man-hours just to drive 14 hours.
And unbelievably according to a written response from DPS there are absolutely no records that document what these two officers did or where they went despite getting paid so much by the taxpayers. And not just for that one-day either. There are no records for these two officers for the entire time they were with Franco in Louisiana. Collectivelythey racked up 76.5 hours of overtime pay, 73.5 hours of shift differential pay (where they were paid more than their typical hourly pay) and 36 hours of holiday pay just so Chuck could go hunting.
Apparently the only thing they documented were the hours they got paid. DPS under Martinez has gotten really lax. Under the previous governor, the governor’s security detail filled out Daily Activity Logs, which DPS has to keep for 20 years and is a public record, and used those document to enter their time into the SHARE system.
It just so happens that the duration of Franco’s hunting trip took place during the procurement process on the contract awarded to the Downs at Albuquerque. Two of the three owners of the Downs live in Louisiana, and both of those bidders gave tons of money to Martinez.
Sometime before his trip, Franco hunted with the third owner of the Downs. But that’s just coincidence, sure it is. So to is the part about the Downs winning the contract.
According to DPS, there are also no records, such as McDonald’s receipts, accommodation receipts- like hotel, motel, or hunting lodge—nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Apparently these two officers neither ate, nor drank, nor slept anywhere.
It is possible that Maynes may have stayed one night or day with his wife’s family, who live in Louisiana, since he had significantly fewer overtime hours billed than Chavez on a specific day.
Based upon the records it appears that the three of them had to be in Louisiana by a certain time on September 6th since they drove straight through. So it appears that they had something planned for that day.
A rendezvous with an alligator, a wild hog, a hunting guide, or perhaps even a Downs owner. What happens in Louisiana stays in Louisiana. Susana Martinez does not want anyone to know about Chuck’s trip. There is some logic to the obstruction.
Any gifts given to the family member of the decider of a state contract during the procurement process constitutes bribery. Cross state lines and it is interstate bribery. Just ask Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans, who was indicted for contractors’ roles in family travel and also receiving campaign contributions.
Since the trip, Martinez personally hired Maynes’ wife to work in her office and his two sisters to work in the Governor’s mansion.