A parting gift from then-Rio Arriba County commissioners Alex Naranjo and Barney Trujillo was to reclassify Napoleon Garcia from Public Works director to Public Works administrator. So what, you ask? It’s all in a name, or a title in this case.
The change in title, approved by the last County commission, gave Garcia, the nephew of County Commissioner Danny Garcia, a $5,200 raise.
While the commissioners’ employee County Manager Tomas Campos danced around the raise, denying it at first, ignoring it later, the raise quietly went into effect Feb. 10.
The resolution, passed Dec. 20, 2018, changed 11 classification schedules. The commission at the time focused on the schedule changes in the County Assessor’s Office. Napo’s (as he’s affectionately referred to by Campos) raise didn’t come up in conversation.
Campos dodged Rio Grande SUN staff writer Amanda Martinez to the best of his ability, truthfully stating Jan. 24 that Napo had not gotten a raise. He said this was the third time Martinez tried to confirm the familial favor. What he didn’t state was the raise was all but secured and Napo saw the boost in the first check of February.
Campos clearly knew the raise was coming so he lied by omission. Or he’s incompetent and doesn’t know when his department heads get raises. However, a paper trail confirms the prior.
What really makes Campos look bad is Napo’s personnel file. The request for reclassification form, dated Feb. 14, (four days after he got his raise) is supposed to be signed by the County Finance Department director. Instead, that line contains the phrase “as per upper management.” Oops, who’s that?
The form also includes a section to mark whether or not there is an available budget to perform the reclassification. Good idea as we go into Fiscal Year 2020 with a $1.3 million deficit budget. The boxes to answer yes or no are left blank.
Not to worry. That budget came from somewhere else. Written instead of a budget source is, “transfer budget from manager to cover raise.”
At this point we’re not sure if Danny Garcia is the family member or it’s Campos.
We had high hopes when the new commissioners came in, they would do some house cleaning. It’s been five months. If they don’t have the training wheels off by now, they never will and Campos will continue to lead them around by their noses.
Campos has been at the trough for several decades. He’s “earned” a really good retirement check. Let’s let him enjoy our largess and we can get someone in place to run the County like the transparent public body it’s supposed to be instead of the friends and family job shop it continues to be for the select few.