Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Martinez Names Public Safety & Homeland Security Search Team

Among the members are former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White -- an early supporter of Martinez's candidacy,  Republican attorney general candidate Matt Chandler, who, like Martinez, is a Republican district attorney. He lost a close race to incumbent AG Gary King last week. Also on board is Ernesto Ortiz, executive director of the DEA's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for the state. I quoted him a couple of times in campaign stories about Martinez's prosecution of drug cases and her use of HIDA funds to give bonuses to staffers.

The team is charged with  helping the transition committee’s chairman, Heather Wilson find those to fill jobs in the area of public safety. Here's the list:


Darren White is currently the public safety director for the City of Albuquerque.  Prior to his appointment in 2009, White was elected twice as sheriff of Bernalillo County (2002 & 2006).  White served as head of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety from 1995-2000.


Sal Baragiola is the director of Albuquerque’s Office of Emergency Management.  Prior to that, Baragiola served as undersheriff in Bernalillo County.  He retired from the Albuquerque Police Department in 1999 as deputy chief of police.  Since 1985, he has served as a special agent for the Investigative Service of the U.S. Coast Guard.


Matt Chandler is currently the district attorney of the Ninth Judicial District of New Mexico, representing the citizens of Curry and Roosevelt Counties.  Chandler has served as the elected Ninth Judicial District Attorney since 2004 and was named New Mexico’s Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year in 2006.


Dan Darnell is a Farmington City Councilor.  Darnell retired from the Farmington Police Department in 2003 after more than 20 years of service.  During his time with the police department, he worked as a patrol officer and supervisor, detective, narcotics agent and supervisor, special projects officer, special response team member and leader, and gang enforcement coordinator.


Ernesto Ortiz has served as the deputy director for the New Mexico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area since 1997 and is currently the executive director.  Prior to working for HIDTA, Ortiz retired in August 1997 from the Drug Enforcement Administration after serving 26 years in federal law enforcement.


Paul Pacheco retired from the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) in 2010 after serving with distinction for 27 years.  Pacheco is a former president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association and in 2003 was named Detective of the Year by Albuquerque Police Department.


Beth Paiz currently serves as the deputy chief of the Albuquerque Police Department.  Prior to being promoted, Paiz oversaw the Albuquerque Police Department’s Northeast Area Command.  Paiz is only the second woman in the APD to achieve the rank of deputy chief.