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Tuesday September 3, 2013

Mr. Robert P. Tinnin, Jr. President, Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices City of Albuquerque c/o City Clerk 600 Second ST NW Room 720 Albuquerque, NM 87102

Dear Mr. Tinnin: This letter serves as an official ethics complaint against Councilor Roxanna Meyers for her participation in the Santa Barbara Martineztown (SBMT) sector redevelopment plan process and for her use of city staff and resources for her own benefit, in violation of Article XII, Sections 4 and 6 of the Albuquerque City Charter. Background An Inspection of Public Records Act request was made on July 15, 2013 for all documents related to Councilor Roxanna Meyers and her involvement in the SBMT sector redevelopment plan process. Documents obtained show that Councilor Meyers owns property and holds substantial financial interests in the SBMT neighborhood. According to Councilor Meyers own characterization of her financial interests, she stood to lose approximately $241,000 in annual rents had her property been re-zoned as recommended by the sector redevelopment plan that was being considered at the time and that was generally supported by SBMT residents. Documents obtained also show that Councilor Meyers was very active in the sector redevelopment plan process as a private citizen prior to her December 7, 2012 appointment to the Albuquerque City Council. Her active involvement continued following her appointment, as she continued to communicate with other property owners via her personal email address, inquired as to individuals preferences for zoning under the sector redevelopment plan, and actively influenced the process through the use of closed-door strategy meetings and negotiations with private business groups and other interested parties. Ethics Violation 1 Councilor Meyers violated Article XII, Section 4 of the Albuquerque City Charter by participating in the SBMT sector redevelopment plan process. Article XII, Section 4, Subsection (C) 1 and 2 of the Albuquerque City Charter prohibits a City Councilor from participating in any debate or vote on any matter which will likely result in any benefit to the member which benefit is greater than the benefit to the public in general. A benefit is defined as a financial benefit.

Evidence shows that Councilor Meyers has actively participated in a sector redevelopment plan process that will have a significant impact on her personal financial interests. Coun cilor Meyers participation went beyond her role as a public representative of concerned constituents. In fact, Councilor Meyers used her position to engage community members, property owners and other interested parties, disrupted an existing sector plan process, and secured support for a plan that ultimately resulted in a substantial benefit to her financial interests. Ethics Violation 2 Councilor Meyers violated Article XII, Section 6 of the Albuquerque City Charter by improperly using city staff and resources for personal benefit. Article XII, Section 6 of the Charter of the City of Albuquerque prohibits a city official from using property owned by any governmental body or funds of any governmental body for personal benefit, convenience or profit. Documents obtained show that Councilor Meyers, acting in her role as President of the Santa Barbara Martineztown Business Association and not in her role as a member of the City Council,1 hosted a series of private meetings on December 19, 20 and 27 of 2012 where she negotiated a sector redevelopment plan that would be beneficial to her financial interests. City staff was asked to participate in these meetings to provide technical assistance. Furthermore, City staff was asked to provide maps printed to specifications requested by Councilor Meyers private business association. The end result of these meetings was a sector redevelopment plan proposal that has the full support of the SBMT Business Association and that ultimately benefits Councilor Meyers financial interests. Conclusion Councilor Roxanna Meyers has violated Article XII, Sections 4 and 6 of the Albuquerque City Charter. In her dual roles as a business owner in the SBMT neighborhood and a member of the Albuquerque City Council, she was prohibited from participating in the SBMT sector redevelopment plan process. Furthermore, Councilor Meyers used city staff and resources to further her goals of securing a sector plan proposal that would be beneficial to her business interests. We respectfully request a timely hearing and we ask that the Board impose the strongest fine while issuing a public reprimand for Councilor Roxanna Meyers. Sincerely, Phillip Hern 509 San Ignacio NE Albuquerque, NM 87102

Regardless of whether she had been acting in her role as a member of the City Council, she would still have been in violation of Article XII Section 4 of the ABQ City Charter.
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