Gardner Tape Reveals Martinez Administration Lied And Hid Records From Public: A Policy and Practice that explains the Lack of Response Emails to Rogers

ISPAC Press Release

For Immediate Release

For almost a year Independent Source PAC (ISPAC) has investigated and, in that process, revealed evidence that the Martinez Administration conspired to rig the bidding process for a new Racino lease at the State Fair Grounds, only to have Governor Martinez and her soldiers (both state employees and campaign operatives) attempt to obscure the truth by hiding communications and documents and deny any wrongdoing.

This afternoon even more evidence was revealed during a press conference held by attorney Sam Bregman as he released an audio tape in which Martinez Chief of Staff Keith Gardner states clearly that he practices what he previously denied telling Martinez and her cabinet officials also do: communicate and conduct government business out of the reach of public disclosure in a manner that would prevent any discovery leading to prosecution.

ISPAC today calls for the immediate dismissal of Keith Gardner from any state government service, along with his deputy chief of staff Ryan Cangiolosi, with the following statement and attached copy of a letter mailed and emailed to Governor Martinez: 

Statement of Michael Corwin, Executive Director, ISPAC:

“Today in his own words, Governor Susana Martinez’s Chief of Staff Keith Gardner, was heard in a recording boasting, that not only does he not use his state email account to communicate, but that he intentionally goes “off-line” to communicate information he doesn’t want disclosed to the public.

Gardner stated that he did so especially in situations where disclosure of his communications could result in his going to court or jail.

The admission of intent to deceive the public should be enough to end Gardner’s employment with the governor. So too should it end the employment of Ryan Cangiolosi, the deputy chief of staff and Gardner’s right hand man.

Former Corrections Secretary Lupe Martinez described in an affidavit under penalty of perjury that Gardner told cabinet secretaries to use private email accounts whenever possible in order to hide their communications from the public. Lupe Martinez also described in her affidavit that Governor Martinez appeared to signal approval of such a policy.

The Martinez administration publicly denied that Gardner directed secretaries to avoid public email and accused Lupe Martinez of lying.

But it was Gardner and the Martinez administration that lied. Gardner has now been caught red handed.

When ISPAC first released emails to Gardner, Cangiolosi, Scott Darnell, and others on private emails, the administration said that no such emails were received by the administration. To back up that claim the administration cited the lack of emails sent on those private emails by Gardner and Cangiolosi.

We now know that the lack of emails arose from an intentional decision to go “off-line” while communicating rather than that the emails were not getting through.

It is clear that the administration sought to hide its conduct by lying to the public.

Therefore, because we now know that Gardner and others went “off line” as a policy we are submitting an IPRA to the governor’s office for all phone logs, texts and Blackberry Messenger communications for Gardner, Cangiolosi and others.

We believe that the US Supreme Court made it clear in CITY OF ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA, et al., Petitioners, 
v.
Jeff QUON et al. that government officials have no right to privacy when using government issues cell phones. This decision has also been interpreted to also mean no right to privacy for government related communication s via private email.

The governor can no longer try to cover for her administration’s actions. Her administration has intentionally engaged in a campaign of secrecy and deceit. She must fire all of those responsible for this conduct and take affirmative steps to release all records even if such action further implicates Gardner, Cangiolosi and others like Jay McCleskey in the Dirty Downs deal and the PED Governmental Conduct Act scandal.

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