I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Former Bernalillo town manager surfaces in Albuquerque Journal opinion pages
In a guest opinion column in the Albuquerque Journal Thursday, former Bernalillo Town manager Stephen Jerge argued that fired Town engineer Ramesh Narasimhan’s engineering is not to blame for Bernalillo’s malfunctioning drinking water treatment system.
But neither Jerge nor the Journal disclosed to readers that after Jerge’s resignation from the Town last April in the midst of a financial scandal, Narasimhan’s wife and business partner Dale-Ann Narasimhan hired Jerge to work at her Phoenix-based firm, Electrical Development Group (EDG).
Jerge had hired Narasimhan as project engineer for the malfunctioning system’s construction only after Town engineers had refused Jerge’s requests to consider equipment manufactured by a local firm.
Jerge and Narasimhan subsequently arranged the Town’s no-bid purchase of that equipment — the very equipment Jerge now blames for the water system’s malfunction.
While Narasimhan was contracted to the Town in 2009, he had supplied Arizona Cardinals play-off tickets to Jerge and another Town official, a decision described by State Auditor Hector Balderas as “troubling.”
Narasimhan in February blamed increasing arsenic levels in the Town’s groundwater for the treatment system’s failure. But that claim is not supported by state water quality data, The Independent reported.
Jerge has not responded to numerous emails from The Independent since January.