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A Nail in the Coffin

For three years, Bob Schwartz has held the position of crime czar in the Richardson administration. He recently resigned that position to run for the top crime fighter position in the state, Attorney General. There is only one problem:

Gov. Bill Richardson announced Thursday that he’ll seek more treatment for drunken drivers and tougher penalties for domestic violence, selling methamphetamine, gang-related crimes and sex crimes when the Legislature convenes Jan. 17.

Help me out here. If Governor Richardson is just now getting around to focusing on these important topics, exactly what has Czar Schwartz been doing for the last three years? In the Governor’s own words:

“This is a strong package that directly attacks the problems that pose the biggest threat to our families and communities,” Richardson said in a prepared statement. “These initiatives will help make our state a safer place for all New Mexicans.”

Ouch, talk about putting a nail in the coffin. Richardson may as well have said, “Now that Bob Schwartz has stepped aside we are ready to make our state a safer place for all New Mexicans.” The only way he could have placed a more negative light on Schwartz’s lack of accomplishments during his tenure as Crime Czar would have been to add, “Year after year of having our state’s largest metro listed among the nation’s most dangerous 25 must come to an end.”

Well, maybe Governor Richardson decided to leave that last part out of his prepared statement in appreciation of the loyalty Schwartz has shown him.