Keith Gardner is Governor Susana Martinez’s chief of staff which makes him one of the most powerful men in New Mexico.
Gardner is most famous for a secret audio recording made of him admiting to concealing his communications from the public because his actions could land him in jail if made public He basically admited to criminal wrongdoing.
Gardner’s criminal conduct appears to include crimes against women, such as physically attacking a young woman in February 2012 in front of witnesses. The woman, Carrie Robin Menapace is a policy analyst for Albuquerque Public Schools Menapace reported the attack to Martinez, a former prosecutor, who so far has done absolutely nothing:
“This letter is to inform you of a battery upon me by your Chief of Staff, Keith Gardner, during the closing days of the recent Legislative session. This last physical assault was the culmination of a series of escalating threatening encounters by Mr. Gardner over my work as a policy analyst and legislative liaison for Albuquerque Public Schools.”
“Mr. Gardner walked past me. He saw me and then turned back around to come up to me. My back was facing him at the time. Mr. Gardner grabbed my arm to turn me around. While painfully holding my arm and in an extremely threatening manner, he yelled that Winston should “be aware that the bowels of hell were about to open up upon him unless he stopped opposing the Governor’s bills.”
Gardner has denied the incident even though here were several witnesses to Gardner’s actions. One witness, Tom Sullivan, said, “he damn well did it. He is a bully, and a liar, if he tries to say it didn’t happen.”
Sullivan also said Gardner behaved “disrespectfully and inappropriately and now he is trying to make himself into the victim”.
Gardner is no victim in this case, just as he was no victim in the audio recording. Former prosecuter Martinez can try to spin Gardner’s abusive conduct against a young woman as a “he said she said” but he has already has been shown to have no credibility.
Ms. Menapace realized that Gardner felt safe attacking a woman and indicted so in her letter to Martinez:
“I am an idealistic young woman who believes in the political process and that the freedom of speech and ideas results in legislation that best serves our community. I hope that Mr. Gardner did not single me out for intimidation because of my youth and because I was female.”
Gardner continued to threaten Ms. Menapace in front of two other Martinez “bad boys”, Nate Gentry and David Doyle. According to Menapace, neither one of these two “henchmen’ did anything to try to stop Gardner from adding insult to injury.
Ms. Menapace tried to resolve things with Gardner in a professional manner but he never responded to her attempts.
Former prosecuter Susana Martinez apparently does not care about such abusive conduct by her own people. She has spent large financial resources to try to re-elect both Gentry and Doyle. But worst of all, Gardner still has his job as her chief of staff.