ALBUQUERQUE, May 1 (UPI) -- The city's former police chief violated state law by pushing through a lucrative contract for police body cameras while serving as a consultant for the device manufacturer, Taser International, the New Mexico auditor said Thursday.
Ray Schultz pushed for the $1.95 million, no-bid city contract with Taser in 2013 to purchase equipment after taking a consulting job with the company, the auditor's report said. He took the job several months before he retired from the police department.
The state auditor's office found Schultz and others in the police department received a number of perks from Taser as they helped secure the contract, including tickets to a party at a San Diego nightclub, an all-expenses paid trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., for training and speaking engagements in Texas.
"The contracts between the city and Taser circumvented the competitive process, or, in former APD Chief Raymond Shultz's own words, the process was 'greased.' The taxpayers are not well served when the process is gamed by our leaders," state auditor Tim Keller said in a written statement.
The report says Schultz worked for Taser under a contract while he was on early retirement from the department and still drawing pay, officials said.
Keller asked state and local officials to consider criminal charges in the case. The Attorney General's office is investigating. Attorneys for Schultz denied claims he broke the law.
"Indeed, the city procurement process was administered by the City Budget Office, not Chief Schultz," attorney Luis Robles said in a written statement.
Taser representatives said Schultz did not receive any special treatment or perks described by Keller and did not violate any state ethics laws.
"While we expect every official we interact with, including municipal, state and federal government officials, to adhere to their respective policies around procurement and other interaction with vendors, we have revised our internal policy around contracting former law enforcement leaders," said Taser's general counsel, Doug Klint.
Schultz is currently the assistant chief for the Memorial Villages Police Department in Texas.